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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African
by Olaudah Equiano
First published in 1789
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. And in that shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people. Isaiah xii. 2, 4.
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Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. pleading in ‘such a cause’. but these. and of a nation which. I trust that ‘such a man’. Union-Street. By the horrors of that trade was I first torn away from all the tender connexions that were naturally dear to my heart. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. May the God of heaven inspire your hearts with peculiar benevolence on that important day when the question of Abolition is to be discussed. has exalted the dignity of human nature. 1789. to lay at your feet the following genuine Narrative. Permit me. the glorious freedom of its government. as the production of an unlettered African. All rights are reserved. when thousands. and its proficiency in arts and sciences. Or GustavusVassa. and the Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain.com . Mary-le-bone. but. My Lords and Gentlemen. with the greatest deference and respect. who is actuated by the hope of becoming an instrument towards the relief of his suffering countrymen. March 24. I am sensible I ought to entreat your pardon for addressing to you a work so wholly devoid of literary merit.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. by its liberal sentiments. through the mysterious ways of Providence. 5 hh-bb. Olaudah Equiano. the chief design of which is to excite in your august assemblies a sense of compassion for the miseries which the Slave-Trade has entailed on my unfortunate countrymen. My Lords and Gentlemen. will be acquitted of boldness and presumption. Your most obedient. in consequence of your Determination. are to look for Happiness or Misery! I am. And devoted humble Servant. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. or Gustavus Vassa. To the Lords Spiritual and Temporal. its humanity. I ought to regard as infinitely more than compensated by the introduction I have thence obtained to the knowledge of the Christian religion.
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. IX. I. 12 hh-bb. III. The author's account of his country. XII. A particular account of the celebrated engagement between Boscawen and Le Clue – pg 46 CHAPTER. their manners and customs – page 13 CHAPTER . and extortion – page 59 CHAPTER . Or GustavusVassa. Three remarkable dreams--The author is shipwrecked on the Bahama-bank – page 96 CHAPTER. V. cruelty. and sails for England – page 106 CHAPTER . Favourable change in the author's situation—He commences merchant – p 72 VOLUME II CHAPTER. VIII. CONTENTS VOLUME I CHAPTER . The author's disgust at the West Indies—Forms schemes to obtain his freedom – page 86 CHAPTER. X. The author is carried to Virginia--Arrives in England—His wonder at a fall of snow – page 35 CHAPTER. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Picking up eleven miserable men at sea in returning to England – page 133 CHAPTER. VI. II. IV. The author arrives at Martinico--Meets with new difficulties. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. The author's birth and parentage--His being kidnapped --Horrors of a slave ship – page 24 CHAPTER. Different transactions of the author's life--Petition to the Queen—Conclusion – page 149 Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.com . Some account of the manner of the author's conversion to the faith of Jesus Christ – pg 118 CHAPTER . XI. Various interesting instances of oppression. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. VII. All rights are reserved.
nor is this the only disadvantage under which they labour: it is also their misfortune. If it affords any satisfaction to my numerous friends. the power of its king. from the Senegal to Angola. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I believe it is difficult for those who publish their own memoirs to escape the imputation of vanity. both as to extent and wealth. All rights are reserved. believed. in short. and includes a variety of kingdoms. nor a tyrant. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and every wish of my heart gratified. the ends for which it was undertaken will be fully attained. extends along the coast above 3400 miles. and. and the number and warlike disposition of the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. If then the following narrative does not appear sufficiently interesting to engage general attention. and their manners and customs--Administration of justice--Embrenche--Marriage ceremony. with the opinions of different writers on that subject. if ever. the richness and cultivation of the soil. 13 hh-bb. a hero. I believe there are few events in my life. thus to solicit the indulgent attention of the public. especially when I own I offer here the history of neither a saint. Of these the most considerable is the kingdom of Benen. known by the name of Guinea. that. which have not happened to many: it is true the incidents of it are numerous. in wishing to avoid censure. those. and to charge the writer with impertinence. I am not so foolishly vain as to expect from it either immortality or literary reputation. Let it therefore be remembered. did I consider myself an European. and acknowledge the mercies of Providence in every occurrence of my life. which in a high degree excite either admiration or pity: all others they consign to contempt and oblivion. and public entertainments--Mode of living--Dress--Manufactures Buildings--Commerce--Agriculture--War and religion--Superstition of the natives--Funeral ceremonies of the priests or magicians--Curious mode of discovering poison--Some hints concerning the origin of the author's countrymen. or in the smallest degree promotes the interests of humanity.com . at whose request it has been written. and a stranger too. not a little hazardous in a private and obscure individual. I might say my sufferings were great: but when I compare my lot with that of most of my countrymen. I regard myself as a ‘particular favourite of Heaven’. to which the trade for slaves is carried on. People generally think those memoirs only worthy to be read or remembered which abound in great or striking events. I confess. let my motive be some excuse for its publication. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. That part of Africa. Or GustavusVassa. I do not aspire to praise. It is therefore.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. The author's account of his country. and what is obvious we are apt to turn from with disgust. that what is uncommon is rarely. CHAPTER I.
It is situated nearly under the line. my father had long born it: I had seen it conferred on one of my brothers. but runs back into the interior part of Africa to a distance hitherto I believe unexplored by any traveller. I was born. however. and while it is in this situation applying a warm hand. as far as my slender observation extended. or chief men. near 1500 miles from its beginning. and was styled Embrenche. and delivered over. do not preserve the same constancy to their wives. by cutting the skin across at the top of the forehead. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. On this occasion a feast is prepared. Some time after she is brought home to her husband. and that no other person is to pay any addresses to her. Most of the judges and senators were thus marked. All rights are reserved. (though I have known the males to betroth themselves). to her husband to be punished. though seldom in more than two. Accordingly he determined to put her to death: but it being found.com . was sometimes punished with slavery or death. Of this I recollect an instance:--a woman was convicted before the judges of adultery. a term. and drawing it down to the eye-brows. and I was also ‘destined’ to receive it by my parents. that she had an infant at her breast. however. This kingdom is divided into many provinces or districts: in one of the most remote and fertile of which. was conducted by the chiefs or elders of the place. 14 hh-bb. for which purpose they always assembled together. on which the bride retires from the assembly. and then Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. as the custom was. although he was the son of a chief or senator. The distance of this province from the capital of Benin and the sea coast must be very considerable. importing the highest distinction. in a charming fruitful vale. for kidnapping a boy. The men. Adultery. as I remember. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and rubbing it until it shrinks up into a thick ‘weal’ across the lower part of the forehead. she was spared on account of the child. in the year 1745. while he declares she is thenceforth to be looked upon as his wife. Those Embrence. This mark is conferred on the person entitled to it. and in most cases the law of retaliation prevailed. nor of the sea: and our subjection to the king of Benin was little more than nominal. and the bride and bridegroom stand up in the midst of all their friends. The manners and government of a people who have little commerce with other countries are generally very simple. and the other judges. Or GustavusVassa. The proceedings were generally short.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. inhabitants. he was condemned to make recompense by a man or woman slave. for every transaction of the government. called Eboe. for I had never heard of white men or Europeans. and extends along the coast about 170 miles. My father was one of those elders or chiefs I have spoken of. and signifying in our language a ‘mark’ of grandeur. just before her execution. and seems only terminated at length by the empire of Abyssinia. for they indulge in a plurality. which they expect from them. named Essaka. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. a punishment which I believe is inflicted on it throughout most of the nations of Africa[A]: so sacred among them is the honour of the marriage bed. and the history of what passes in one family or village may serve as a specimen of a nation. and no woman being prevailed on to perform the part of a nurse. who are assembled for the purpose. I remember a man was brought before my father. This is also immediately proclaimed in the vicinity. and. and so jealous are they of the fidelity of their wives. Their mode of marriage is thus:--both parties are usually betrothed when young by their parents. decided disputes and punished crimes.
Our manner of living is entirely plain. and poets. When our women are not employed with the men in tillage. and implements of husbandry. who play on them on all grand festivals. such as a triumphant return from battle. and cattle. and at the same time they tie round her waist a cotton string of the thickness of a goose-quill. but after it she is esteemed the sole property of her husband. which generally consists of portions of land. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. supply the greatest part of their food. We are almost a nation of dancers. accompanied with music and dancing. it is therefore ever new. or muslin. as those in Turkey[C]. which dance either apart or in succession. and each with a character peculiar to itself. who dance in the second division. wrapped loosely round the body. It is extracted from a berry. Each represents some interesting scene of real life. and loud acclamations of joy. and make it into garments. for as yet the natives are unacquainted with those refinements in cookery which debauch the taste: bullocks. The first division contains the married men. or some rural sport. and the maidens the fourth. Among the rest tobacco pipes. made after the same fashion. besides which the parents of the bridegroom present gifts to those of the bride. or other cause of public rejoicing is celebrated in public dances.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. musicians. another feast is made. whose property she is looked upon before marriage. The assembly is separated into four divisions. which none but married women are permitted to wear: she is now considered as completely his wife. The dress of both sexes is nearly the same. such as a great achievement. Thus every great event. All rights are reserved. a piece of music which resembles a guitar. This gives our dances a spirit and variety which I have scarcely seen elsewhere[B]. our women of distinction wear golden ornaments. The ceremony being now ended the festival begins. which they dispose with some profusion on their arms and legs. It generally consists of a long piece of callico. which are accompanied with songs and music suited to the occasion. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which is celebrated with bonefires. their usual occupation is spinning and weaving cotton. Or GustavusVassa. who in their dances frequently exhibit feats of arms. and at this time the dowry is given to the new married pair. of which we have many kinds. our luxuries are few. and is brighter and richer than any I have seen in Europe. household goods. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 15 hh-bb. which is our favourite colour.com . and another much like a stickado. They also manufacture earthen vessels. and used in the same manner. These are offered by the friends of both parties. To these succeed the married women. These constitute likewise the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which they afterwards dye. somewhat in the form of a highland plaid. This is usually dyed blue. goats. These last are chiefly used by betrothed virgins. We have many musical instruments. domestic employment. slaves. The young men occupy the third. accompanied with a number of blessings. and as the subject is generally founded on some recent event. particularly drums of different kinds. Besides this. to which the relations of both parties are invited: her parents then deliver her to the bridegroom. and the representation of a battle. As our manners are simple. a pathetic story. and poultry.
The flesh is usually stewed in a pan. eadas. beans. but on this it is an indispensable ceremony. and different parts of a spungy tree called plaintain. 16 hh-bb. by pouring out a small portion of the food. On each side are the apartments of his wives. is as hard as brick. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. principal wealth of the country. Our beds consist of a platform. and their principal beverage is palm wine. in one of which he sits in the day with his family. which are generally perfumed. and consisting of two apartments. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Or GustavusVassa. for the spirits of departed relations. Before we taste food we always wash our hands: indeed our cleanliness on all occasions is extreme. In the middle stands the principal building. The habitations of the slaves and their families are distributed throughout the rest of the enclosure. When just drawn it is of a most delicious sweetness. and fastening a large gourd to it. but we have benches. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and without. surrounded with a moat or fence. who have also their separate day and night houses. The walls and floors also of these are generally covered with mats. The roof is thatched with reeds.com . Each master of a family has a large square piece of ground. when dry. and we have salt made of wood ashes. frequently present the appearance of a village. which. and other spices.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. yams. which. a small portion of which thrown into the fire diffuses a most powerful odour[D]. and plastered in the inside. These houses never exceed one story in height: they are always built of wood. the other is left apart for the reception of his friends. to accommodate strangers: these compose the greater part of our household furniture. on which are laid skins. and guard them from evil. After washing. but in a few days it acquires a tartish and more spirituous flavour: though I never saw any one intoxicated by it. which the natives suppose to preside over their conduct. which annoy us during the night. and sometimes one tree will yield three or four gallons in a night. appropriated to the sole use of the master. Houses so constructed and furnished require but little skill to erect them. or enclosed with a wall made of red earth tempered. and Indian corn. and neatly plastered within. Our dayhouses are left open at the sides. with which both men and women perfume themselves. The head of the family usually eats alone. in a certain place. one sort of these is an odoriferous wood of delicious fragrance: the other a kind of earth. Every man is a sufficient architect Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. or stakes driven into the ground. He has besides these a distinct apartment in which he sleeps. together with his male children. raised three or four feet from the ground. They are totally unacquainted with strong or spirituous liquours. All rights are reserved. Our principal luxury is in perfumes. Our vegetables are mostly plantains. and the chief articles of its commerce. Our covering is calico or muslin. the same as our dress. to make it savoury we sometimes use also pepper. This is gotten from a tree of that name by tapping it at the top. libation is made. Within this are his houses to accommodate his family and slaves. but those in which we sleep are always covered. In our buildings we study convenience rather than ornament. to keep off the different insects. with a composition mixed with cow-dung. his wives and slaves have also their separate tables. and mix it with palm oil. We beat this wood into powder. The same tree also produces nuts and oil. The usual seats are a few logs of wood. crossed with wattles. if numerous.
and as we are unacquainted with idleness. Or GustavusVassa. beads.com . or adultery. and in their vigour and activity. and vast quantities of cotton and tobacco. The whole neighbourhood afford their unanimous assistance in building them and in return receive. for their hardiness. intelligence. These are sometimes visited by stout mahogany-coloured men from the south west of us: we call them Oye-Eboe. They always carry slaves through our land. but they were only prisoners of war. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. together with gums of various kinds. as I have observed. integrity. I remember too they carried great sacks along with them. even the children and women. But these make no part of our commerce. Thus we are all habituated to labour from our earliest years. We have also markets. and expect no other recompense than a feast. Those benefits are felt by us in the general healthiness of the people. we have no beggars. are provisions. In such a state money is of little use. and our salt of wood ashes.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. if I may call them such. are engaged in it. the principal articles of which. The West India planters prefer the slaves of Benin or Eboe to those of any other part of Guinea. but the strictest account is exacted of their manner of procuring them before they are suffered to pass. As we live in a country where nature is prodigal of her favours. which we esteemed heinous. which term signifies red men living at a distance. earthern ware. and produces all kinds of vegetables in great abundance. We have also spices of different kinds. they are about the size of the largest sugar-loaf. particularly pepper. for the purpose. 17 hh-bb. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. but I do not remember either their value or denomination. These articles they barter with us for odoriferous woods and earth. I mean that of shape. They consist for the most part of calicoes. gunpowder. and zeal. They are made something like an anchor. All rights are reserved. hats. at which I have been frequently with my mother. and instruments of war and husbandry. our wants are few and easily supplied. ornaments. Every one contributes something to the common stock. Agriculture is our chief employment. The last we esteemed a great rarity. Our land is uncommonly rich and fruitful. I might have added too in their comeliness. that. We have plenty of Indian corn. All our industry is exerted to improve those blessings of nature. or such among us as had been convicted of kidnapping. and a variety of delicious fruits which I have never seen in Europe. Numbers of the natives of Eboe now in London might be brought in Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. notwithstanding all our strictness. and dried fish. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as our waters were only brooks and springs. Deformity is indeed unknown amongst us. and every one. and finely flavoured. however we have some small pieces of coin. They generally bring us fire-arms. Our pine apples grow without culture. which not long after I had an opportunity of fatally seeing applied to that infamous purpose. Sometimes indeed we sold slaves to them. and some other crimes. This practice of kidnapping induces me to think. their principal business among us was to trepan our people. The benefits of such a mode of living are obvious. of course we have few manufactures. and honey in abundance.
bows and arrows.com . Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. by driving sticks into the ground. and accepts the price of his fellow creatures liberty with as little reluctance as the enlightened merchant. and therefore when our people go out to till their land. so as to darken the air. and another quite white. Accordingly he falls on his neighbours. he gratifies his avarice by selling them. in regard to complexion. who were universally regarded by myself. and are generally dipt in poison. from which I beheld the fight. All are taught the use of these weapons. ideas of beauty are wholly relative. when our people were suddenly attacked. From what I can recollect of these battles. but. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. It is not extraordinary. even our women are warriors. When a trader wants slaves. Perhaps they were incited to this by those traders who brought the European goods I mentioned amongst us.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and march boldly out to fight along with the men. It is perhaps something remarkable. and beaks. some hours walk from our dwellings. it is thought dangerous to let him survive. he applies to a chief for them. he is put to death: for. I remember while in Africa to have seen three negro children. but when it does. We have fire-arms. and when they apprehend an invasion they guard the avenues to their dwellings. as deformed. but generally take their arms with them for fear of a surprise. than any other[E]. and all the neighbours resort thither in a body. All rights are reserved. and destroy our harvest. they all rise in arms and rush upon their enemy. and he falls into the hands of the enemy. Sometimes we are visited by locusts. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. they appear to have been irruptions of one little state or district on the other. axes. or pointed iron to dig with. Indeed cheerfulness and affability are two of the leading characteristics of our nation. Our women too were in my eyes at least uncommonly graceful. There were many women as well as men Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. This however happens rarely. and by kidnapping. I remember an instance or two wherein this happened. 18 hh-bb. If he prevails and takes prisoners. broad twoedged swords and javelins: we have shields also which cover a man from head to foot. Such a mode of obtaining slaves in Africa is common. to obtain prisoners or booty. and modest to a degree of bashfulness. They are also remarkably cheerful. This common is often the theatre of war. which are so sharp at one end as to pierce the foot. shovels. nor do I remember to have ever heard of an instance of incontinence amongst them before marriage. Our tillage is exercised in a large plain or common. Our whole district is a kind of militia: on a certain signal given. alert. We had been all at work in it one day as usual. support of this assertion: for. though all other prisoners may be redeemed. and their only instruments are hoes. that when our people march to the field a red flag or banner is borne before them. such as the firing of a gun at night. they not only go in a body. I climbed a tree at some distance. if his party be vanquished. Or GustavusVassa. and the natives in general. and a desperate battle ensues. I was once a witness to a battle in our common. which come in large clouds. and I believe more are procured this way. as far as related to their complexions. who were tawny. a famine is produced by it. and no ransom can save him. if on this occasion he yields to the temptation with as little firmness. and tempts him with his wares. as he has been known to foment their quarrels. They use no beasts of husbandry.
according to some. The spoils were divided according to the merit of the warriors.com . There she made her libations. naturally awful and gloomy. and the ceremony of libation. and pour some of their drink. though much larger. and took their enemy's Chief prisoner. and they often make oblations of the blood of beasts or fowls at their graves. and armed with a broad sword. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I do not remember to have ever heard of it: some however believe in the transmigration of souls in a certain degree. especially our deaths or captivity. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. When she went to make these oblations at her mother's tomb. I have been often extremely terrified on these occasions. All rights are reserved. and guard them from the bad spirits or their foes. A virgin of note among our enemies had been slain in the battle. though he offered a large ransom for his life. I was very fond of my mother. and there was scarce any other difference between them. It is then the greatest offerings are made. I sometimes attended her. and on its setting that evening there is a general shout throughout the land. and that authority which. and those children whom our wise men foretel will be fortunate are then presented to different people. not unlike the basket rattles used by children here. put some small portion of the meat. at least I can speak from my own knowledge throughout our vicinity. even their masters. He was carried off in great triumph. I Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and after many had been killed our people obtained the victory. (except that they were not permitted to eat with those who were freeborn). and spent most of the night in cries and lamentations. We compute the year from the day on which the sun crosses the line. which are not transmigrated. Those prisoners which were not sold or redeemed we kept as slaves: but how different was their condition from that of the slaves in the West Indies! With us they do no more work than other members of the community. Or GustavusVassa. They believe he governs events. For this reason they always before eating. among others my mother was there.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. he was put to death. clothing and lodging were nearly the same as theirs. As to religion. on both sides. but. on the ground for them. which is our own favourite luxury. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as I have observed. the darkness of the night. such as our dear friends or relations. their food. After fighting for a considerable time with great fury. he exercises over every part of his household. they believe always attend them. and. the natives believe that there is one Creator of all things. concuring with the cries of doleful birds. were heightened by my mother's lamentations. and for their own use. which was a kind of small solitary thatched house. and these. by which these places were frequented. and her arm was exposed in our market-place. Some of these slaves have even slaves under them as their own property. and is girted round with a belt that he may never eat or drink. The people at the same time make a great noise with rattles. 19 hh-bb. The loneliness of the place. Those spirits. but. than a superior degree of importance which the head of a family possesses in our state. gave an inexpressible terror to the scene. and that he lives in the sun. as such. where our trophies were always exhibited. he smokes a pipe. and hold up their hands to heaven for a blessing. and almost constantly with her. as for the doctrine of eternity.
They wore their beards.com . and all those terms of abuse and reproach which find their way so readily and copiously into the languages of more civilized people. but they were held in great reverence by the people. one favoured. Most of their implements and things of value were interred along with them. and when they died they were succeeded by their sons. or may you swell. generally two at harvest before the fruits are taken out of the ground: and when any young animals are killed. and foretold events. Pipes and tobacco were also put into the grave with the corpse. our children were named from some event. or touch any person. which signifies calculators or yearly men. The only expressions of that kind I remember were 'May you rot. particularly at full moons. They have many offerings. and made offerings and feasts on that occasion in the same manner as they did. or any thing we ate. in our language. when made by one of the heads of a family. we had priests and magicians. as their name imported. for we called them Ah-affoe-way-cah. 'That if they were to be eaten. on the contrary. and having a loud voice and well spoken. if my recollection does not fail me. indeed almost as many. signifies vicissitude or fortune also. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and therefore we had many purifications and washings. Some of our offerings are eaten with bitter herbs. in a little house made for that purpose. was forbidden to come into a dwelling-house. I was so fond of my mother I could not keep from her. None accompanied their funerals but those of the same Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. or may a beast take you. Though we had no places of public worship.' We practised circumcision like the Jews. Every woman too. or wise men.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. they should be eaten with bitter herbs. at certain times. remember many used to come to see me. or avoid touching her at some of those periods. I do not remember whether they had different offices. Like them also. All rights are reserved. I remember we often had them at my father's and my uncle's. and then we were purified. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. or fancied foreboding at the time of their birth. These offerings. some circumstance. till offering was made. I was named ‘Olaudah’. and used on the same occasions. serve for the whole. and we were totally unacquainted with swearing. I remember we never polluted the name of the object of our adoration. as the Jews. Or GustavusVassa. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. which was always perfumed and ornamented. They calculated our time. and animals were offered in sacrifice to them. and I was carried about to others for that purpose. our year being called Ah-affoe. it was always mentioned with the greatest reverence. in consequence of which I was obliged to be kept out with her. 20 hh-bb.' I have before remarked that the natives of this part of Africa are extremely cleanly. or whether they were united in the same persons. Those that touched the dead at any time were obliged to wash and purify themselves before they could enter a dwelling-house. sometimes they offer up part of them as a sacrifice. This necessary habit of decency was with us a part of religion. and their families have been present. We had a saying among us to any one of a cross temper. which.
and. the strong analogy which even by this sketch. Or GustavusVassa. but it was not known by whom: the doctors ordered the corpse to be taken up by some persons. appears to prevail in the manners and customs of my countrymen and those of the Jews. he immediately confessed the poisoning[G]. 21 hh-bb. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. they seemed seized with some[F] sudden impulse.com .The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. They practiced bleeding by cupping. These buried them after sunset. imperfect as it is. and particularly the patriarchs while they were yet in that pastoral state which is described in Genesis--an analogy. At last. When they buy any eatable the seller kisses it all round before the buyer. and therefore by my mother and the rest of the people. I was desired by some of our wise men to touch these. which I did. theft. which I hope it will not be deemed impertinent here to insert. each of which was as thick as the calf of a man's leg. Some of our snakes. A virgin had been poisoned. as remarkable omens in my favour. and in colour resembling a dolphin in the water. and set on one side of the highway. The natives are extremely cautious about poison. And here I cannot forbear suggesting what has long struck me very forcibly. crept at different times into my mother's night-house. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. some of which are esteemed ominous when they appear in our houses. to the great surprise of many who saw it. for they were quite harmless. except that as to poisoning: I recollect an instance or two. and poisoning. and passed between my feet without offering to touch me. and would tamely suffer themselves to be handled. where I always lay with her. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I remember two of those ominous snakes. Such is the imperfect sketch my memory has furnished me with of the manners and customs of a people among whom I first drew my breath. were poisonous: one of them crossed the road one day when I was standing on it. We have serpents of different kinds. the owner being taken up. These magicians were also our doctors or physicians. and then they were put into a large open earthen pan. particularly to a stranger. as it may serve as a kind of specimen of the rest. after having passed through a number of thorns and prickly bushes unhurt. and always returned from the grave by a different way from that which they went. I do not remember what those methods were. and ran to and fro unable to stop themselves. They had likewise some extraordinary method of discovering jealousy. All rights are reserved. profession or tribe. and carried to the grave. however. which alone would induce me to think that the one people had sprung from the other. As soon as the bearers had raised it on their shoulders. and the same is done when any meat or drink is presented. Indeed Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. that I might be interested in the good omens. before they reached the Land of Promise. namely. and defaced it in the fall. the corpse fell from them close to a house. to shew him it is not poisoned. and each time they crowed like a cock. the success of which no doubt they derived from their unbounded influence over the credulity and superstition of the people. and coiled themselves into folds. and these we never molest. and is still used by the negroes in the West Indies. and these incidents were accounted by the wise men. and were very successful in healing wounds and expelling poisons.
our washings and purifications. the descendants of Abraham by Keturah his wife and concubine (for both these titles are applied to her). Like the Israelites in their primitive state. or eclipsed by the cloud with which time. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. our wise men and elders. on my mind at least. and. All rights are reserved. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. in his commentary on Genesis. ‘perfect negroes’. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. retaining however a smattering of the Portuguese language. formerly Dean of Sarum. has produced the fullest conviction. in his Truth of the Christian Religion: both these authors concur in ascribing to us this original. our government was conducted by our chiefs or judges. for we had our circumcision (a rule I believe peculiar to that people:) we had also our sacrifices and burnt-offerings. it is hoped may tend also to remove the prejudice that some conceive against the natives of Africa on account of their colour. who have inhabited America. Clarkson. and is far above my strength. Surely the minds of the Spaniards did not change with their complexions! Are there not causes enough to which the apparent inferiority of an African may be ascribed. and a great many more which might be adduced. and customs." There is also another instance[J] of a Portuguese settlement at Mitomba. very ably deduces the pedigree of the Africans from Afer and Afra.com . As to the difference of colour between the Eboan Africans and the modern Jews. this resemblance in so many respects is a strong evidence in support of the opinion. John Clarke. are become as dark coloured as our native Indians of Virginia. The reasonings of these gentlemen are still further confirmed by the scripture chronology. manners. and in the woolly quality of their hair. and the head of a family with us enjoyed a similar authority over his household with that which is ascribed to Abraham and the other patriarchs.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. under the torrid zone. a river in Sierra Leona. where the inhabitants are bred from a mixture of the first Portuguese discoverers with the natives. while they shew how the complexions of the same persons vary in different climates. on the same occasions as they had. they are ignorant of their language. Mitchel[I]. I shall not presume to account for it. because "carved in ebony. contenting myself with extracting a fact as related by Dr. The law of retaliation obtained almost universally with us as with them: and even their religion appeared to have shed upon us a ray of its glory. for any time. T. Are any pains taken to teach them Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Gill. It is a subject which has engaged the pens of men of both genius and learning. "The Spaniards. The most able and Reverend Mr. I shall therefore refer to that performance for the theory[H]. in a manner that at once solves every objection on that account. religion. in his much admired Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species. this is the opinion of Dr. and if any further corroboration were required. though broken and spent in its passage. 22 hh-bb. and supposing he forbore to stamp understanding on certainly his own image. Or GustavusVassa. and ignorance might have enveloped it. These instances. who. has ascertained the cause. however. tradition. of which ‘I myself have been a witness’. and are now become in their complexion." Might it not naturally be ascribed to their situation? When they come among Europeans. without limiting the goodness of God. It is also conformable to the sentiments of Dr.
--The chief mate. Or GustavusVassa. and frequently out of grandeur by two boys. neither are our ways his ways.] [Footnote G: An instance of this kind happened at Montserrat in the West Indies in the year 1763. that understanding is not confined to feature or colour. when they look round the world. like the Africans. these? Are they treated as men? Does not slavery itself depress the mind. curiously figured. 123. p. and is not unlike the smell of a rose. 205. without intention. The credit which is due to it I leave with the reader. The owner of the hut was taken into custody on this.] [Footnote K: Acts.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. but they had scarcely raised it to their shoulders. 4. to which a long reed is fixed as a tube. and even barbarous. and whose wisdom is not our wisdom. Though they had often heard of the circumstance of the running in such cases. No.--I give this story as it was related by the mate and crew on their return to the ship.] [Footnote D: When I was in Smyrna I saw the same kind of earth. If. Clarkson. and some of the crew being one day on shore. c." FOOTNOTES: [Footnote A: See Benezet's "Account of Guinea" throughout.] [Footnote I: Philos.] [Footnote E: See Benezet's Account of Africa throughout. cited by Mr. Did Nature make ‘them’ inferior to their sons? and should ‘they too’ have been made slaves? Every rational mind answers. Capt. All rights are reserved. 26. Doran. at last.com . above all. and confessed the poisoning.] [Footnote H: Page 178 to 216. xvii. I then belonged to the Charming Sally. till. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Nº 476. what advantages do not a refined people possess over those who are rude and uncultivated. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.] [Footnote C: The bowl is earthen. Let such reflections as these melt the pride of their superiority into sympathy for the wants and miseries of their sable brethren. Matthew's Voyage. and compel them to acknowledge. and gratitude to God. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. 23 hh-bb.] [Footnote J: Same page. and carry it to the grave. uncivilized. and extinguish all its fire and every noble sentiment? But. Trans. Let the polished and haughty European recollect that his ancestors were once. p. Mr. who were all of the same opinion.] [Footnote F: See also Leut. The sailors.] [Footnote B: When I was in Smyrna I have frequently seen the Greeks dance after this manner. it resembles musk in strength. readily obeyed. they imagined it to be a trick of the corpse-bearers. Sect. let it be tempered with benevolence to others. they came to the hut of him who had poisoned the girl. and had even seen it. Mansfield. they feel exultation. The coffin then immediately fell from their shoulders against the hut. "who hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth[K]. This tube is sometimes so long as to be born by one. v. quite unable to direct themselves. The mate therefore desired two of the sailors to take up the coffin. but is more delicious in scent. were present at the burying of a poisoned negro girl. before they began to run furiously about. and brought some of it with me to England.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and damaged part of the wall.
when none of the grown people were nigh. of which seven lived to grow up.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.com . 24 hh-bb. and was always with her. when an end was put to my happiness in the following manner:-Generally when the grown people in the neighbourhood were gone far in the fields to labour. I still look back with pleasure on the first scenes of my life. Immediately on this I gave the alarm of the rogue. that might come upon us. and she used to take particular pains to form my mind. of course. I saw one of those people come into the yard of our next neighbour but one. or a lesson of reason. the greatest favourite with my mother. for. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I became. I was trained up from my earliest years in the art of war. my daily exercise was shooting and throwing javelins. there being many stout young people in it. and which all the adversity and variety of fortune I have since experienced served only to rivet and record. As I was the youngest of the sons. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. had a numerous family. where the cargo is sold and dispersed. Or GustavusVassa. as I was watching at the top of a tree in our yard. I have already acquainted the reader with the time and place of my birth. and only I and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I hope the reader will not think I have trespassed on his patience in introducing myself to him with some account of the manners and customs of my country. II. and my mother adorned me with emblems. But alas! ere long it was my fate to be thus attacked. They had been implanted in me with great care. One day. and he was surrounded by the stoutest of them. which time could not erase. and made an impression on my mind. after the manner of our greatest warriors. or kidnapper. All rights are reserved. CHAPTER. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. to kidnap. My father. One day. though that pleasure has been for the most part mingled with sorrow. including myself and a sister. besides many slaves. for they sometimes took those opportunities of our parents' absence to attack and carry off as many as they could seize. and commonly some of us used to get up a tree to look out for any assailant. who entangled him with cords. The author's birth and parentage--His being kidnapped with his sister--Their separation--Surprise at meeting again--Are finally separated--Account of the different places and incidents the author met with till his arrival on the coast--The effect the sight of a slave ship had on him--He sails for the West Indies--Horrors of a slave ship--Arrives at Barbadoes. and to be carried off. so that he could not escape till some of the grown people came and secured him. when all our people were gone out to their works as usual. the children assembled together in some of the neighbours' premises to play. who was the only daughter. In this way I grew up till I was turned the age of eleven. whether the love of one's country be real or imaginary. or an instinct of nature.
went with the maidens. At length. two men and a woman got over our walls. and for several days I did not eat any thing but what they forced into my mouth. and they at last used to trust me some little distance from the house. Here they tied our hands. who was something like my mother. This man had two wives and some children. and. while we lay clasped in each other's arms. and bathing each other with our tears. I had now some hopes of being delivered. which were the same kind as I had seen in my vicinity. being quite overpowered by fatigue and grief. yet these people spoke exactly the same language with us. and ran off with us into the nearest wood. We were then unbound. for the same purpose. but we refused it. after many days travelling. while I was left in a state of distraction not to be described. and spent the night. and worked it. and continued travelling all the day. in a very pleasant country. without giving us time to cry out. and immediately carried away. It was in vain that we besought them not to part us. she was torn from me. my dear sister were left to mind the house. and in a moment seized us both. particularly the first wife. but at last we came into a road which I believed I knew. This liberty I used in embracing every opportunity to inquire the way to my own home: and I also sometimes. They also stopped my sister's mouth. I cried and grieved continually. and. till night came on. and they all used me extremely well. for my sister and I were then separated. when we reached a small house. and then they put me into a large sack. in the cool of the evenings.com . Although I was a great many days journey from my father's house. as I may call him. and the only comfort we had was in being in one another's arms all that night. during which I had often changed masters. on which I began to cry out for their assistance: but my cries had no other effect than to make them tie me faster and stop my mouth. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I believe it was gold he worked. to bring pitchers of water from Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I was there I suppose about a month. When we went to rest the following night they offered us some victuals.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. The next morning we left the house. and did all they could to comfort me. which allayed our misfortune for a short time. Or GustavusVassa. our only relief was some sleep. was a smith. All rights are reserved. and in this manner we proceeded till we were out of the sight of these people. and in the middle of that leather a stick was fixed. but were unable to take any food. The next day proved a day of greater sorrow than I had yet experienced. and my principal employment was working his bellows. where the robbers halted for refreshment. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. For a long time we had kept the woods. I got into the hands of a chieftain. But alas! we were soon deprived of even the small comfort of weeping together. or make resistance. They were in some respects not unlike the stoves here in gentlemen's kitchens. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. This first master of mine. 25 hh-bb. for we had advanced but a little way before I discovered some people at a distance. they stopped our mouths. for it was of a lovely bright yellow colour. and a person stood up. and continued to carry us as far as they could. and tied her hands. in the same manner as is done to pump water out of a cask with a hand pump. and was worn by the women on their wrists and ancles. and were covered over with leather.
I therefore resolved to fly. so as to elude the strictest search. if possibly I could escape all other animals. and I had determined when it should be dark to make the attempt. The neighbours continued the whole day looking for me. for I had seldom been beaten at home. 26 hh-bb. While I was projecting my escape. and hid myself in the bushes. which quite disconcerted my plan. In that part of the country (as in ours) the houses and villages were skirted with woods. they thought I had run away. though they were often so near that I even heard their conjectures as they were looking about for me. and. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. because my mother would never suffer me to tell a lie) she flew into a violent passion. The old slave. and put an end to my hopes. and that I should be lost in the woods. and I began to consider that. When I heard this I was seized with a violent panic. and set in the evening. This alarmed me very much. I had before entertained hopes of getting home. that any attempt to return home would be hopeless. and one morning. to be found out. and accordingly I ran into a thicket that was hard by. and the bushes were so thick that a man could readily conceal himself in them. as I had travelled along. and abandoned myself to despair. and I had observed that my father's house was towards the rising of the sun. and my love of liberty. I used to be sometimes employed in assisting an elderly woman slave to cook and take care of the poultry. Or GustavusVassa. which to me was uncommonly dreadful. inquired after it. although I was mostly their companion. ever great. and I expected an instant flogging. I could not those of the human kind. but I was now convinced it was fruitless. I therefore determined to seize the first opportunity of making my escape. or shrubberies. and aggravated all my fears. threatened that I should suffer for it. and that. and I now learned from them. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. having soon after missed the chicken. and to shape my course for that quarter. but not finding me.com . and expected every moment. I had also remarked where the sun rose in the morning. I happened to toss a small pebble at one of them. that they thought I could never reach it. and punished by my master: but they never discovered me. my master being out. and I not making answer when they called to me. when I heard a rustling among the trees. she immediately went and told her mistress what I had done. the springs for the use of the house. they searched all the house. not seeing me. and on my relating the accident (for I told her the truth. while I was feeding some chickens. Soon afterwards my mistress and the slave returned. I must perish in the woods. which hit it on the middle and directly killed it. but the distance was so great. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and the whole neighbourhood was raised in the pursuit of me. Most of them supposed I had fled towards home. for I was quite oppressed and weighed down by grief after my mother and friends. not knowing the way. All rights are reserved.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. was strengthened by the mortifying circumstance of not daring to eat with the free-born children. I then gave myself up for lost entirely. and several times many of them came within a few yards of the place where I lay hid. and. and the way so intricate. one day an unlucky event happened. Night too began to approach. Thus was I like the hunted deer: Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.
The people I was sold to used to carry me very often. which affected him so much that for some time he was almost frantic. that I never met with any ill treatment. I at length quitted the thicket. From the time I left my own nation I always found somebody that understood me till I came to the sea coast. having slightly reprimanded me. and they always go well armed. and ev'ry foe a death. to my great surprise. Our meeting affected all who saw us. for I had not eaten or drank any thing all the day. Or GustavusVassa. sickened and died. I was now carried to the left of the sun's rising. and went for her master. to whom I supposed we belonged. and which was an open shed. and. through many different countries. I saw many convenient well-built sheds along the roads. and the man. while I was journeying thus through Africa. and really would have killed himself. or saw any offered to their slaves. and thus for a while we forgot our misfortunes in the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. came to light the fire. 27 hh-bb. and could scarcely believe her own eyes. ordered me to be taken care of. When these people knew we were brother and sister they indulged us together. who often accompany them. All rights are reserved. clung to each other in mutual embraces. lay with us. This increased my anguish. who was the first up. I acquired two or three different tongues. but. nor were they so copious as those of the Europeans. and crept to my master's kitchen. whom should I see brought to the house where I was but my dear sister! As soon as she saw me she gave a loud shriek. --"Ev'ry leaf and ev'ry whisp'ring breath Convey'd a foe. and ran into my arms--I was quite overpowered: neither of us could speak. and child by his first wife. who soon after came. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. to keep them from running away. in a small time afterwards he recovered. and laid myself down in the ashes with an anxious wish for death to relieve me from all my pains. and. in honour of those sable destroyers of human rights. while she and I held one another by the hands across his breast all night. and a number of large woods. from whence I set out at first. had he not been watched and prevented. and being pretty sure they were snakes I expected every instant to be stung by them. She now promised to intercede for me. to accommodate the merchants and travellers. I was scarcely awake in the morning when the old woman slave. In this manner I had been traveling for a considerable time. unable to do any thing but weep. for a considerable time. The languages of different nations did not totally differ. very faint and hungry.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano." I heard frequent rustlings among the leaves. However. and not to be ill-treated. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. at proper distances. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. particularly the English. Soon after this my master's only daughter. who lay in those buildings along with their wives. when I was tired. when necessary. She was very much surprised to see me. either on their shoulders or on their backs. except tying them. and saw me in the fire place. and the horror of my situation became now quite insupportable. They were therefore easily learned. he in the middle. when one evening. and indeed I must acknowledge. and I was again sold.com .
and went home with them. and the trees. and were in the same manner as ours. 28 hh-bb. when I could not be with her to alleviate them. were also interspersed amongst the houses. To that Heaven which protects the weak from the strong. which had commodious shades adjoining. for scarcely had the fatal morning appeared. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I commit the care of your innocence and virtues. I was sold here for one hundred and seventy-two of them by a merchant who lived and brought me there. and all their treatment of me. and carried through a number of places. while the thoughts of your sufferings have damped my prosperity. if possible. in the most beautiful country I have yet seen in Africa. because I was the eldest. I was again sold. so that. if they have not already received their full reward. Though you were early forced from my arms. made me forget that I was a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and were the finest I ever saw in Africa: they were very extensive. and there were many rivulets which flowed through it. This filled me with astonishment. and ate and drank before her with her son. having taken a fancy to me. Here I also saw and tasted for the first time sugar-cane.com . The next day I was washed and perfumed. Or GustavusVassa. which I thought superior to any nuts I had ever tasted before. the size of the finger nail. a neighbour of his. your image has been always rivetted in my heart. till. to eat with him who was free. joy of being together: but even this small comfort was soon to have an end. Yes. Her house and premises were situated close to one of those rivulets I have mentioned. a young gentleman about my own age and size. thou dear partner of all my childish sports! thou sharer of my joys and sorrows! happy should I have ever esteemed myself to encounter every misery for you. Here they saw me. and brought with her an only son. when a wealthy widow. and my apprehensions lest her sufferings should be greater than mine. than before. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. The small relief which her presence gave me from pain was gone. and not only so. came there one evening. Here I first saw and tasted cocoa-nuts. and supplied a large pond in the centre of the town. and. which was agreeable to our custom. and I could scarce help expressing my surprise that the young gentleman should suffer me. and when meal-time came I was led into the presence of my mistress. they have mingled with adversity and increased its bitterness. Indeed every thing here. I was bought of the merchant. when she was again torn from me for ever! I was now more miserable. Their money consisted of little white shells. and to procure your freedom by the sacrifice of my own. It was extremely rich. I came to a town called Tinmah. where the people washed. and she had a number of slaves to attend her. the pestilential stench of a Guinea ship. I had been about two or three days at his house. I did not long remain after my sister. the insides being neatly plastered and whitewashed. from which neither ‘time nor fortune’ have been able to remove it. after travelling a considerable time. and the wretchedness of my situation was redoubled by my anxiety after her fate. which were loaded. but that he would not at any time either eat or drink till I had taken first. All rights are reserved. the seasoning in the European colonies. who was bound.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and if your youth and delicacy have not long since fallen victims to the violence of the African trader. or the lash and lust of a brutal and unrelenting overseer.
and drank. customs. hoping that I might some time be among a people who did not thus disfigure themselves. The change I now experienced was as painful as it was sudden and unexpected. I was amazed to see no sacrifices or offerings among them. without the least previous knowledge. and we began to paddle and move along the river. and I now began to think I was to be adopted into the family. but I would not suffer them. In some of those places the people ornamented themselves with scars. each family by themselves. at the very moment I dreamed of the greatest happiness. slave. and hurried away even amongst the uncircumcised. There were likewise slaves daily to attend us. It was a change indeed from a state of bliss to a scene which is inexpressible by me. above all. and when we came to land. Thus. when all at once the delusion vanished. of which they made tents. All rights are reserved. as I had been used to do at home. for they ate. In this resemblance to my former happy state I passed about two months. and had European cutlasses and cross bows. and ate without washing their hands. and was beginning to be reconciled to my situation. which were unknown to us. and wherein such instances of hardship and cruelty continually occurred as I can never reflect on but with horror. some in the shape of little houses: in these we slept. in which the people appeared to live with their household utensils and provisions of all kinds. with their men. They wanted sometimes to ornament me in the same manner. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and it seemed as if fortune wished to give me this taste of joy. and made fires on the banks. that we understood each other perfectly. All the nations and people I had hitherto passed through resembled our own in their manners. and to forget by degrees my misfortunes. I found myself most miserable. But. They had also the very same customs as we. Their women were not so modest as ours. We continued going on thus till night. some dragged their canoes on shore. 29 hh-bb.com . especially when I came among a people who did not circumcise. I was wakened out of my reverie to fresh sorrow. and fought with their fists amongst themselves. I was beyond measure astonished at this. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I was very much struck with this difference. only to render the reverse more poignant. The language of these people resembled ours so nearly. and slept. Those on the land had mats. while my young master and I with other boys sported with our darts and bows and arrows. and after the morning meal we embarked again Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. for. and till then had no idea of. and laid in them all night. others stayed and cooked in theirs. one morning early. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. At last I came to the banks of a large river. as I thought they did. as it discovered to me an element I had never before beheld. and language: but I came at length to a country. as I had never before seen any water larger than a pond or a rivulet: and my surprise was mingled with no small fear when I was put into one of these canoes. and likewise filed their teeth very sharp. the inhabitants of which differed from us in all those particulars. while my dear master and companion was still asleep. They cooked also in iron pots. which was covered with canoes. Or GustavusVassa.
except such as I have mentioned. the pomkins. red faces. being afraid of him. The chief employment in all these countries was agriculture. I saw no mechanics whatever in all the way. at the end of six or seven months after I had been kidnapped. and I took a little down my palate. were brought up to it. I would not take it out of his hand. Indeed such were the horrors of my views and fears at the moment. 30 hh-bb. and that they were going to kill me. and there was plenty of redwood. I arrived at the sea coast. which. All rights are reserved. &c. I was immediately handled and tossed up to see if I were sound by some of the crew. sometimes by land. they talked to me in order to cheer me. I was often very much astonished to see some of the women. Their complexions too differing so much from ours. of the various hands I passed through.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I now saw myself deprived of all chance of returning to my Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow. The cotton even grew quite wild. I would have freely parted with them all to have exchanged my condition with that of the meanest slave in my own country. though not used for any purpose. and the language they spoke. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. It would be tedious and uninteresting to relate all the incidents which befell me during this journey. and one of the crew brought me a small portion of spirituous liquor in a wine glass. One of the blacks therefore took it from him and gave it to me. yams. and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits. were in great abundance. and of incredible size.com . if ten thousand worlds had been my own. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. plantains. who I believed were some of those who brought me on board. but. and loose hair. having never tasted any such liquor before. These filled me with astonishment. jump into the water. They told me I was not. and proceeded as before. I asked them if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks. (which was very different from any I had ever heard) united to confirm me in this belief. and a slave ship. instead of reviving me. Or GustavusVassa. and which I have not yet forgotten. and swim about. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and left me abandoned to despair. as they thought it would. as well as the men. which was soon converted into terror when I was carried on board. I fell motionless on the deck and fainted. and every where a great deal of tobacco. which was then riding at anchor. When I recovered a little I found some black people about me. Thus I continued to travel. but all in vain. and trained in the arts of war. There were also vast quantities of different gums. quite overpowered with horror and anguish. threw me into the greatest consternation at the strange feeling it produced. The first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast was the sea. dive to the bottom. and a multitude of black people of every description chained together. Soon after this the blacks who brought me on board went off. their long hair. I no longer doubted of my fate. and. that in all the places where I was the soil was exceedingly rich. come up again. When I looked round the ship too and saw a large furnace or copper boiling. and both the males and females. as with us. and had been receiving their pay. eadas. and waiting for its cargo. that. and the manners and customs of all the different people among whom I lived: I shall therefore only observe. till. &c. sometimes by water. through different countries and various nations.
for I expected they would sacrifice me: but my wishes were vain. two of the white men offered me eatables. 31 hh-bb. and. I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat. which I now considered as friendly. and really thought they were spirits. could I have got over the nettings. and the white men had some spell or magic they put in the water when they liked in order to stop the vessel. and crying together. to relieve me. and although. on my refusing to eat. I naturally feared that element the first time I saw it. Or GustavusVassa. and there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life: so that. but soon. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. One white man in particular I saw. besides. I could not help expressing my fears and apprehensions to some of my countrymen: I asked them if these people had no country. I asked how the vessel could go? they told me they could not tell. when we were permitted to be on deck. and tied my feet. and this not only shewn towards us blacks. amongst the poor chained men. flogged so unmercifully with a large rope near the foremast. I found some of my own nation. as I thought. death. and I expected nothing less than to be treated in the same manner. and. I was exceedingly amazed at this account.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. the white people looked and acted. lest we should leap into the water: and I have seen some of these poor African prisoners most severely cut for attempting to do so. and they tossed him over the side as they would have done a brute.' said I. and I even wished for my former slavery in preference to my present situation. they gave me to understand we were to be carried to these white people's country to work for them. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I then was a little revived. I was soon put down under the decks. This indeed was often the case with myself. one of them held me fast by the hands. and then the vessel went on. which in a small degree gave ease to my mind. I inquired of these what was to be done with us. and laid me across I think the windlass. I now wished for the last friend. to my grief. All rights are reserved. but came from a distant one. but lived in this hollow place (the ship): they told me they did not. I had never experienced any thing of this kind before. or even the least glimpse of hope of gaining the shore. but that there were cloths put upon the masts by the help of the ropes I saw. native country. while the other flogged me severely. In a little time after. if it were no worse than working.com . This made me fear these people the more. I then asked where were their women? had they any like themselves? I was told they had: 'and why. 'how comes it in all our country we never heard of them?' They told me because they lived so very far off. which was filled with horrors of every kind. the crew used to watch us very closely who were not chained down to the decks. that he died in consequence of it. in so savage a manner. because they were left behind. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but I could not. I therefore wished much to be from amongst them.' said I. my situation was not so desperate: but still I feared I should be put to death. still heightened by my ignorance of what I was to undergo. and hourly whipped for not eating. yet nevertheless. for I had never seen among any people such instances of brutal cruelty. and thought. nor had I the least desire to taste any thing. 'do we not see them?' they answered. 'Then. I was not long suffered to indulge my grief. with the loathsomeness of the stench. I would have jumped over the side. but also to some of the whites themselves. not being used to the water.
and when the anchor was let go I and my countrymen who saw it were lost in astonishment to observe the vessel stop. The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so intolerably loathsome. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which I began to hope would soon put an end to my miseries. All rights are reserved. In this situation I expected every hour to share the fate of my companions. when the ship we were in had got in all her cargo. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. This produced copious perspirations. and as often wished I could change my condition for theirs. and my opinion of the cruelty of the whites. signifying I suppose we were to go to their country. to my great astonishment. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. as I may call it. Happily perhaps for myself I was soon reduced so low here that it was thought necessary to keep me almost always on deck. although we begged and prayed for some as well as we could. thus falling victims to the improvident avarice. This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains. One day they had taken a number of fishes. almost suffocated us. While we stayed on the coast I was mostly on deck. they tossed the remaining fish into the sea again. rather than give any of them to us to eat as we expected. At last she came to an anchor in my sight. into which the children often fell. to our astonishment who were on the deck. and were almost suffocated. and some of my countrymen. and one day. and they came on board of us. and were not convinced it was done by magic. Or GustavusVassa. and when they had killed and satisfied themselves with as many as they thought fit. The closeness of the place. they gave a great shout. and the filth of the necessary tubs. that it was dangerous to remain there for any time. and the heat of the climate. Every circumstance I met with served only to render my state more painful. Soon after this the other ship got her boats out. But this disappointment was the least of my sorrow. 32 hh-bb. they made ready with many fearful noises. and the people of both ships seemed very glad to see each other. As soon as the whites saw it. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. some of whom were almost daily brought upon deck at the point of death. I envied them the freedom they enjoyed. and the more so as the vessel appeared larger by approaching nearer. and heighten my apprehensions. The shrieks of the women.com . from a variety of loathsome smells. and some of us had been permitted to stay on the deck for the fresh air. and we were all put under deck. I saw one of these vessels coming in with the sails up. but in vain. but we did not understand them.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. of their purchasers. of which many died. Often did I think many of the inhabitants of the deep much more happy than myself. now become insupportable. and made motions with their hands. At last. and the groans of the dying. Several of the strangers also shook hands with us black people. at which we were amazed. and from my extreme youth I was not put in fetters. it became absolutely pestilential. rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable. so that the air soon became unfit for respiration. and brought on a sickness among the slaves. so that we could not see how they managed the vessel. added to the number in the ship. for we were so quartered that it was impossible for any of us to make our escape. but now that the whole ship's cargo were confined together. which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself.
but to work. and I could not think what it meant.com . and many of them fell on the deck. This. which surprised me very much: they used frequently to fly across the ship. Or GustavusVassa. and we soon anchored amongst them off Bridge Town. This report eased us much. and other ships of different kinds and sizes. as well as to gratify my curiosity. and the attempt procured them some very severe floggings. which disappeared as they passed along. In this manner we continued to undergo more hardships than I can now relate. and I believe many more would very soon have done the same if they had not been prevented by the ship's crew. but they were discovered. of trying to get a little privately. 33 hh-bb. was suffered to be out of irons. somehow made through the nettings and jumped into the sea: immediately another quite dejected fellow. made me one day look through it. willing to increase it. During our passage I first saw flying fishes. All rights are reserved. signifying we were to go there. Those of us that were the most active were in a moment put down under the deck. They at last took notice of my surprise. which we were often without for whole days together. being pressed by hunger. on account of his illness. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. when we had a smooth sea and moderate wind. and there was such a noise and confusion amongst the people of the ship as I never heard before. carried off many. They put us in separate parcels. and that every thing about me was magic.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Many merchants and planters now came on board. This heightened my wonder. They told us we were not to be eaten. preferring death to such a life of misery. where we should see many of our country people. and. took an opportunity. and one of them. We did not know what to think of this. when they thought no one saw them. Many a time we were near suffocation from the want of fresh air. and I was now more persuaded than ever that I was in another world. and pointed to the land. insomuch that at last the white people got some old slaves from the land to pacify us. and afterwards flogged him unmercifully for thus attempting to prefer death to slavery. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. there came to us Africans of all languages. hardships which are inseparable from this accursed trade. At last we came in sight of the island of Barbadoes. though it was in the evening. and get the boat out to go after the slaves. who were instantly alarmed. but as the vessel drew nearer we plainly saw the harbour. and made many signs of joy to us. but they got the other. also followed their example. soon after we were landed. and were soon to go on land. I had often with astonishment seen the mariners make observations with it. One day. We thought by this we should be eaten by these ugly men. and the stench of the necessary tubs. there was much dread and trembling among us. However two of the wretches were drowned. The clouds appeared to me to be land. as they appeared to us. two of my wearied countrymen who were chained together (I was near them at the time). who. when soon after we were all put down under the deck again. I also now first saw the use of the quadrant. We were conducted Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and sure enough. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and nothing but bitter cries to be heard all the night from these apprehensions. to stop her. They also made us jump. at which the whites on board gave a great shout. and examined us attentively.
who says unto you. and in every other respect different from those in Africa: but I was still more astonished on seeing people on horseback. most of them never to see each other again.(as the beat of a drum) the buyers rush at once into the yard where the slaves are confined. immediately to the merchant's yard. were sold in different lots. In this manner. serve not a little to increase the apprehensions of the terrified Africans. and indeed I thought these people were full of nothing but magical arts. while it has no advantage to atone for it. who may well be supposed to consider them as the ministers of that destruction to which they think themselves devoted. and adds fresh horrors even to the wretchedness of slavery. and it was very moving on this occasion to see and hear their cries at parting. when I came to converse with different Africans. or husbands their wives? Surely this is a new refinement in cruelty. I remember in the vessel in which I was brought over. where we were all pent up together like so many sheep in a fold. Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you? Is it not enough that we are torn from our country and friends to toil for your luxury and lust of gain? Must every tender feeling be likewise sacrificed to your avarice? Are the dearest friends and relations. who. What struck me first was that the houses were built with stories. without regard to sex or age. now rendered more dear by their separation from their kindred. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which is this:--On a signal given. O. still to be parted from each other. and much larger than those I then saw. and I thought it odd I had not seen any horses there. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. thus aggravates distress. without scruple. We were not many days in the merchant's custody before we were sold after their usual manner. I found they had many horses amongst them.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. 34 hh-bb. I understood them. The noise and clamour with which this is attended. though they were from a distant part of Africa. there were several brothers.com . in the sale. in the men's apartment. As every object was new to me every thing I saw filled me with surprise. who said they were the same kind they had in their country. are relations and friends separated. ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you. and the eagerness visible in the countenances of the buyers. Or GustavusVassa. brothers their sisters. All rights are reserved. and thus prevented from cheering the gloom of slavery with the small comfort of being together and mingling their sufferings and sorrows? Why are parents to lose their children. learned you this from your God. I did not know what this could mean. and make choice of that parcel they like best. While I was in this astonishment one of my fellow prisoners spoke to a countryman of his about the horses. but afterwards.
CHAPTER. and not one soul who could talk to me. and gathering stones in a plantation. 35 hh-bb. being unwell. and the more so as I had seen a black woman slave as I came through the house. and was afraid it would tell the gentleman any Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which locked her mouth so fast that she could scarcely speak.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I believe it could not be above a fortnight. for they could talk to each other. I was a few weeks weeding grass. and wishing for death rather than any thing else. On the passage we were better treated than when we were coming from Africa. which to me appeared very fine and curious. and we had plenty of rice and fat pork. where we saw few or none of our native Africans. I was now exceedingly miserable. Or GustavusVassa. While he was fast asleep I indulged myself a great deal in looking about the room. I was much astonished and shocked at this contrivance. and I never saw one of them afterwards. that were not saleable amongst the rest. and at last all my companions were distributed different ways. who used to wash and take care of me.com . to fan the gentleman while he slept. but I had no person to speak to that I could understand. and could not eat nor drink. and thought myself worse off than any of the rest of my companions. when I and some few more slaves. she had one particularly on her head. III. All rights are reserved. when I came into the room where he was I was very much affrighted at some things I saw. While I was in this plantation the gentleman. to whom I suppose the estate belonged. about Virginia county. and the poor creature was cruelly loaded with various kinds of iron machines. the women too. The author is carried to Virginia--His distress--Surprise at seeing a picture and a watch--Is bought by Captain Pascal. In this state I was constantly grieving and pining. from very much fretting. We were landed up a river a good way from the sea. Soon after I had a fan put into my hand. who was cooking the dinner. The first object that engaged my attention was a watch which hung on the chimney. and only myself was left. in 1758. were shipped off in a sloop for North America. were all gone different ways. and so I did indeed with great fear. I stayed in this island for a few days. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I was quite surprised at the noise it made. I now totally lost the small remains of comfort I had enjoyed in conversing with my countrymen. I was one day sent for to his dwelling house to fan him. and sets out for England--His terror during the voyage--Arrives in England--His wonder at a fall of snow--Is sent to Guernsey. and in some time goes on board a ship of war with his master--Some account of the expedition against Louisbourg under the command of Admiral Boscawen. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and was going. which I afterwards learned was called the iron muzzle.
Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. for I thought that these people were all made up of wonders. But I was reserved for another fate. and when I refused to answer to my new name. which at first I did. which made my life a burden. By this time. and this made me very happy. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which appeared constantly to look at me. This gentleman. and I wanted to know as well as I could where we were going. I had sails to lie on. called the Industrious Bee. and just ready to sail for England. Campbell. but now commanded this trading ship. and much dejected state. and refused to be called so. forlorn. to the place where the ship lay. I now thought my condition much mended. In this place I was called Jacob. without having any one to talk to. When I arrived I was carried on board a fine large ship. All rights are reserved. so at length I submitted. I could smatter a little imperfect English. and was obliged to bear the present name. but I do not now remember which. At one time I thought it was something relative to magic. I had been some time in this miserable. which was somewhere in the confines of the county many miles off. I was still more affrighted. it gained me many a cuff. and liked me so well that he made a purchase of me.com . While I was on board this ship. and was soon undeceived when we came within sight of the English coast. While he was at my master's house it happened that he saw me. I therefore began to think that they were not all of the same disposition. I was still at a loss to conjecture my destiny. thing I might do amiss: and when I immediately after observed a picture hanging in the room. A few days after I was on board we sailed for England. one Mr. &c. 36 hh-bb. I was conducted on horseback by an elderly black man. to my comfort. and offer them libation as we used to do to our friendly spirits. when I was dismissed out of the room. I was quite rejoiced at the sound of going back. my captain and master named me ‘Gustavus Vassa’. I think I have often heard him say he gave thirty or forty pounds sterling for me. and not seeing it move I thought it might be some way the whites had to keep their great men when they died. Or GustavusVassa. to my no small satisfaction and relief.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. However. having never seen such things as these before. when the kind and unknown hand of the Creator (who in very deed leads the blind in a way they know not) now began to appear. quite contrary to what I had seen of any white people before. I at that time began to understand him a little. but he said I should not. In this state of anxiety I remained till my master awoke. he meant me for a present to some of his friends in England: and I was sent accordingly from the house of my then master. and still called me Gustavus. and thought if I should get home what wonders I should have to tell. for one day the captain of a merchant ship. (a mode of travelling which appeared very odd to me). loaded with tobacco. however. and plenty of good victuals to eat. and told him as well as I could that I would be called Jacob. by which I have Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. came on some business to my master's house. Some of the people of the ship used to tell me they were going to carry me back to my own country. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and every body on board used me very kindly. was a lieutenant in the royal navy. whose name was Michael Henry Pascal. but on board the African snow I was called Michael.
While I was in this situation one evening they caught. to my very great sorrow. about four or five years older than myself: his name was Richard Baker. The ship had a very long passage. Sometimes he would say to me--the black people were not good to eat. but very soon. a stranger. and made him always eat with him in the cabin. He used often to tell him jocularly that he would kill me to eat. an agreeable companion. as I lost at once a kind interpreter. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I said. in stopping the ship. He was a native of America. and perform some magic. Although this dear youth had many slaves of his own. We spoke with only one vessel the whole time we were at sea. and a faithful friend. and the cries and noise were so great and confused. This gladdened my poor heart exceedingly. and to be the friend and instructor of one who was ignorant. had received an excellent education. and to think they were going to make an offering with me. yet he and I have gone through many sufferings together on shipboard. as I thought it would serve the people to eat instead of their eating me. he was of very great use to me. One night we lost a man overboard. a large shark. and one quart of water a-day. and was my constant companion and instructor. for the space of two years.com . and who was not ashamed to notice. on board his majesty's ship the Preston: an event which I have never ceased to regret. and about the same quantity of meat. though I very much feared they would kill and eat me. to be very much afraid. and got it on board. to associate with. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. This renewed my consternation. There was on board the ship a young lad who had never been at sea before. who did not know what was the matter. and in return I grew extremely fond of him. No: then he said he would kill Dick (as he always called him) first. Though this hearing relieved my mind a little as to myself. that I.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. began. In our extremities the captain and people told me in jest they would kill and eat me. expecting every moment to be my last. as usual. of a different complexion. which. Towards the last we had only one pound and a half of bread per week. and we have many nights lain in each other's bosoms when we were in great distress. to my astonishment. and I did not know what to think of these white people. when he was up the Archipelago. and I would peep and watch to see if they were going to kill him: nor was I free from this consternation till we made the land. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and was depressed beyond measure. and. Soon after I went on board he shewed me a great deal of partiality and attention. at the age of fifteen. but I thought them in earnest. and afterwards me. and but once we caught a few fishes. and on that account we had very short allowance of provisions. I was alarmed for Dick and whenever he was called I used to be very much afraid he was to be killed. and tossed the rest over the side. been known ever since. discovered a mind superior to prejudice. with a good deal of trouble. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. who. Thus such a friendship was cemented between us as we cherished till his death. We at length became inseparable. they cut off a small part of the tail. All rights are reserved. and a slave! My master had lodged in his mother's house in America: he respected him very much. happened in the year 1759. 37 hh-bb. and was of a most amiable temper. and would ask me if we did not eat people in my country. Or GustavusVassa.
which appeared ludicrous enough in my crying and trembling. I thought it was salt. he told me these fish would swallow any body. and I hid myself in the fore part of the ship. One morning. and most of the people were busied in getting a barrel of pitch to light. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Here he was called away by the captain. all my alarms began to subside when we got sight of land. the wind just then died away. what these fish were. and our famine was soon turned into feasting. and the fish went after it. to my great joy. and were so near as to blow the water on the ship's deck. when I asked him if any offerings were to be made to them: however. It was about the beginning of the spring 1757 when I arrived in England. and I was surprised beyond measure. but still every time I was called I used to think it was to be killed. so I immediately ran down to the mate and desired him. which I found very cold indeed. and when I brought it to him he desired me to taste it. All rights are reserved. as well as I could. and I expected to be offered up to appease him. he told me it was snow: but I Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which we wanted very much: we made good use of them. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and sent on board some fresh provisions. which I afterwards found were called grampusses. knowing what it was. and. to come and see how somebody in the night had thrown salt all over the deck. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I then asked him what it was. any object I saw filled me with new surprise. and at last the ship arrived at Falmouth. However. who was leaning over the quarter-deck railing and looking at the fish. They looked to me extremely terrible. for them to play with. I saw them no more. and in consequence of it the ship stopped going. when I got upon deck. I saw it covered all over with the snow that fell over-night: as I had never seen any thing of the kind before. when daylight appeared I was a little eased in my mind. The captain now called me to him. as well as I could. Every heart on board seemed gladdened on our reaching the shore. almost without ending. what confirmed my belief was. at last. I supposed that the fish had performed this. as the white people did not make any offerings at any time. and none more than mine. after a passage of thirteen weeks. through fear of being offered up to appease them. Not being able to talk much English. which I still believed they dealt in. and a calm ensued.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I did so. He. Some time after this we saw some very large fish. Or GustavusVassa. and made their appearance just at dusk. indeed. and I was near twelve years of age at that time. and I took an opportunity to ask him. The captain immediately went on shore. The barrel of pitch was now lighted and put over the side into the water: by this time it was just dark. This filled my mind with agony. and.com . As the waves were very high I thought the Ruler of the seas was angry. However. every minute peeping and quaking: but my good friend Dick came shortly towards me. I could but just make him understand my question. I was very much struck with the buildings and the pavement of the streets in Falmouth. and having diverted himself and others for some time with my fears. 38 hh-bb. he dismissed me. I believed them to be the rulers of the sea. and. I thought they were angry with them: and. desired me to bring some of it down to him: accordingly I took up a handful of it. which sufficiently alarmed me. and I could not any more that night close my eyes again to rest. having learned some of my apprehensions from Dick. and not at all.
like some of the African nations where I had been. I asked all I could about it. and I had a great curiosity to talk to the books. It is ludicrous enough. and in seeing these white people did not sell one another. and so to learn how all things had a beginning: for that purpose I have often taken up a book. aged about five or six years. and they gave me to understand it was worshipping God. and who made it. could not in anywise understand him. After this I went to church. and I have been very much concerned when I found it remained silent. and then put my ears to it. in a heavy shower.com . my master placed me to board and lodge with one of his mates. and I thought they were not so modest and shamefaced as the African women. and eating with unwashed hands. However. which fell down on the same day. I was still at a great loss. and having never been at such a place before. together with my friend Dick: This mate had a little daughter. and in a little time we sailed for Guernsey. who made us and all things. and he always instructed me with pleasure: and from what I could understand by him of this God. which had taken in the tobacco again. and she grew prodigiously fond of me. and soon got into an endless field of inquiries.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. for I could make free with him. where she was in part owned by a merchant. Or GustavusVassa. and when my master asked me if I would stay there with her behind him. I was much pleased. as we did. in hopes it would answer me. he told me a great man in the heavens. I was very glad I did not let them ornament me in that manner when I was with them. At last. As I was now amongst a people who had not their faces scarred. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. called God: but here again I was to all intents and purposes at a loss to understand him. when alone. and the more so. I had often seen my master and Dick employed in reading. and in this I thought they were much happier than we Africans. who had a fine little daughter about six or seven years of age. I was so much caressed by this family that it often reminded me of the treatment I had received from my little noble African master. insomuch that we used to eat together. I cried immediately. or making any offerings. as he was going away with the ship. but the child cried so much after me that nothing could pacify her till I was sent for again. one night I was sent on board the ship again. 39 hh-bb. who had a wife and family there. and touching the dead. and have talked to it. by stealth. and had servants to wait on us. when a little after I saw the air filled with it. After I had been here a few days. and some months afterwards he went to England. one Nicholas Doberry. My master lodged at the house of a gentleman in Falmouth. I then asked him the use of it. as well as I was able to speak and ask about things. All rights are reserved. and said I would not leave her. I likewise could not help remarking the particular slenderness of their women. and I told him. I was astonished at the wisdom of the white people in all things I saw. which I did not at first like. as I thought they did. He asked me if we had no such thing in my country. When we arrived at Guernsey. No. my little friend Dick used to be my best interpreter. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and left me in care of this mate. I was sent on board of the ship. but was amazed at their not sacrificing. with whom I used to be much Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. that I began to fear I should be betrothed to this young lady. I was again amazed at seeing and hearing the service.
for we were always together. to our great joy. and set out for England in a sloop bound for London. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. pulled the people out by force. that. being appointed first lieutenant of his majesty's ship the Roebuck. and his old mate: on this we all left Guernsey. and indeed in every respect treated me as such. However I went and hid myself also under a hencoop. I even began to long for a battle. I was amazed indeed to see the quantity of men and the guns.com . and visited a variety of places: among others we were twice in Holland. When I went on board this large ship. and searched all about. or what to think or do. where the Roebuck lay. after which the gentleman gave the combatants from five to nine shillings each. my master came on board to us. I had often observed that when her mother washed her face it looked very rosy. and I never knew what it was to have a bloody nose before. This was the first time I ever fought with a white boy. On the passage. and brought us to the ship. I remained here till the summer of the year 1757. My griefs too. and I ceased to feel those apprehensions and alarms which had taken such strong possession of me when I first came among the Europeans. and felt tolerably easy in my present situation. where the Roebuck lay. 40 hh-bb. but it was all in vain. and put them into the boat. after I had been some time in this ship. delighted. I remained in this ship a considerable time. I suppose considerably more than an hour: and at last. and were paired proportionably. both of us Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. However my surprise began to diminish as my knowledge increased. and a great part of our time was spent in play. who was my conductor. This woman behaved to me with great kindness and attention. when my master. and I now began to be mortified at the difference in our complexions. At last I was found out also: the man that found me held me up by the heels while they all made their sport of me. a man of war's boat came alongside to press our people. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and. Soon afterwards we came to the Nore. which in young minds are not perpetual. but all to very little purpose. sent for Dick and me. This made me fight most desperately. for the diversion of those gentlemen. I roaring and crying out all the time most lustily: but at last the mate. on which each man ran to hide himself. came to my assistance. one day. and for some time after. which still made it more agreeable. and I soon enjoyed myself pretty well. and did all he could to pacify me. Immediately afterwards the press-gang came on board with their swords drawn. All rights are reserved. were now wearing away. whose names I do not now remember. I was so far from being afraid of any thing new which I saw. As we were coming up towards the Nore. and then made to fight. till I had seen the boat go off. There was a number of boys on board. I was very much frightened at this. during which we made several cruises. but when she washed mine it did not look so: I therefore tried oftentimes myself if I could not by washing make my face of the same colour as my little play-mate (Mary). I began now to pass to an opposite extreme. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Or GustavusVassa. and brought over several persons of distinction from it.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and taught me every thing in the same manner as she did her own child. seeing this. though I did not know what it meant. all the boys were called on the quarter-deck.
and met with a fine large French-built frigate. After being there several weeks. But the very moment the word of command was given to fire we heard those on board the other ship cry 'Haul down the jib.com . One evening. a relation of my master. We had hailed them several times. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and took in all seventeen prizes. and I was obliged to be sent to St. Dick and I were put on board the Savage sloop of war. and from thence to the Orkneys. Or GustavusVassa. This gentleman had two sisters. Guerin. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and she proved to be the Ambuscade man of war. There I grew so ill. All this time we had never come to an engagement. so that I was again confined. then new at Deptford. George's Hospital. and came to London. and soon after we went to Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and I thought myself now particularly unfortunate. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and we went in her to assist in bringing off the St. to my no small disappointment. just at the trial of Admiral Byng (whom I saw several times during it): and my master having left the ship. the small-pox broke out on me. and gone to London for promotion. There was instantly with us an amazing cry of-Avast! or stop firing. We got all things immediately ready for fighting. being weary. The boat was then sent on board of her. apprehending a mortification. where we remained some short time. off Havre de Grace. Dick and I were sent on board her. 41 hh-bb. that the doctors wanted to cut my left leg off at different times. that had ran ashore somewhere on the coast. and just as I had recovered. We therefore both with great pleasure got into a waggon. but happily they did no mischief. without having been in any action.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. which I had so long wished for in vain. However I soon recovered again. George man of war. After staying a few weeks on board the Savage. the place I had long desired exceedingly to see. which was the cause of our firing. Though I had desired so much to see London. and I was several times made to fire the guns. where we were received by a Mr. we were standing off shore. We returned to Portsmouth. for I had at this time the chilblains to such a degree that I could not stand for several months. Sometime afterwards the ship went to Leith in Scotland. and I now expected I should be gratified in seeing an engagement. but I always said I would rather die than suffer it. Dick and I were sent on shore at Deal. All rights are reserved. and happily (I thank God) I recovered without the operation. when I arrived in it I was unfortunately unable to gratify my curiosity. just as it was growing dark. but they not hearing. who took much notice and great care of me. and by this time my master having been promoted to be first lieutenant of the Preston man of war of fifty guns. for England. full of soldiers. though we were frequently cruising off the coast of France: during which we chased many vessels.' and in that instant she hoisted English colours. where I was surprised in seeing scarcely any night: and from thence we sailed with a great fleet. till my master sent for us to London. I had a great deal of this kind of sport afterwards. and I think one or two guns had been let off. very amiable ladies. I had been learning many of the manoeuvres of the ship during our cruise. we were parted. in which the captain and the ship's company used very much to encourage me. we received no answer.
in Halifax. and the flag of that gallant admiral was hoisted on board. We did not stay long here. fitting up for Viceadmiral Boscawen. and by the evening it was very much inflamed. and people crying their different commodities about the ship as in a town. the blue at the maintop-gallant mast head. There was a very great fleet of men of war of every description assembled together for this expedition. I beg leave to relate. and its form. From this ship my master was appointed a lieutenant on board the Royal George. common on shipboard. which was then at Spithead. Here were also shops or stalls of every kind of goods.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and sailed. Or GustavusVassa. and got into a very commodious harbour called St. of every denomination. into which I was again cast without a friend. this mighty fleet (for there was also Admiral Cornish's fleet in company. The next day it grew worse. 42 hh-bb. we sailed for Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. George. Just at the moment some small particles of dirt fell into his left eye. My master was not many weeks on board before he got an appointment to be sixth lieutenant of the Namur.com . but he left Dick on board the Preston. All things being now in readiness. we were driven to Teneriffe. We then steered for America. and then parted. and considering it then as a judgment of God.to England. but the ship being ordered for Turkey I could not think of leaving my master. to learn the French horn. our fleet being increased to a prodigious number of ships of all kinds.--While I was in this ship an incident happened. and all other fresh provisions. and I told him if he left me behind it would break my heart. women. To me it appeared a little world. d----d his eyes about something. Admiral Cornish. which I had never seen before. destined for the East Indies) at last weighed anchor. We remained in sight of this island some days. All rights are reserved. though trifling. for I had no longer my dear companion Dick. whose affability made him highly esteemed and beloved by all the men. When he was going he wished me to stay on board the Preston. Its prodigious height. after which. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as I could not help taking particular notice of it. filled me with wonder. whom I embraced at parting for the last time. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. so that when I came on board of her I was surprised at the number of people. This prevailed on him to take me with him. and then proceeded for America. in the Lenox. and within six or seven days he lost it. many of them also of brass. The crew of the Royal George were turned over to her. men. One morning a young man was looking up to the fore-top. to whom I was very warmly attached. where I was struck with its noted peak. We were here joined by different men of war and transport ships with soldiers. resembling a sugar-loaf. who was going with a large fleet on an expedition against Louisburgh. which. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and children. The Royal George was the largest ship I had ever seen. by contrary winds. but. which we soon made. which he returned. and the largeness of the guns. and I was in hopes soon to have an opportunity of being gratified with a sea-fight. where we had fish in great plenty. and in a wicked tone. The two fleets continued in company for several days. We had the good and gallant General Wolfe on board our ship. Holland to bring over the late Duke of ---. having first saluted our admiral in the Namur.
One thing remarkable I saw this day:--A lieutenant of the Princess Amelia. He often honoured me. and this. It was now winter. All rights are reserved. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. which were very curious. All the admirals and captains of the men of war. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. My master had some part in superintending the landing. with the firing of guns. about fifty boats belonging to the English men of war. formed a most grand and magnificent spectacle. When the ships were in the harbour we had the most beautiful procession on the water I ever saw. came alongside of the Namur. Our land forces laid siege to the town of Louisbourgh. and passed out at his cheek. in order to make an attack upon Louisbourgh. but a sixty-four. as well as my master. I saw this king's ornaments too. to my very great joy. to take possession. as I suppose. followed by the other officers in order of seniority. Our troops pursued them as far as the town of Louisbourgh. and a complete landing was effected. During my stay here I had often an opportunity of being near Captain Balfour. called the Bienfaisant. Laforey. and the English men of war came into the harbour before it. and here I was in a small measure gratified in seeing an encounter between our men and the enemy. and liked me so much that he often asked my master to let him have me. well ornamented with pendants. and made of feathers. As soon as every thing here was settled Admiral Boscawen sailed with part of the fleet for England. and I believe two or three of them were quite burnt. 43 hh-bb. while the French men of war were blocked up in the harbour by the fleet. of the town and fort. and in their barges. they brought off. and disputed our landing for a long time. Some time after this the French governor and his lady. with marks of his notice. and I went often on shore. that one day I saw some of the ships set on fire by the shells from the batteries. commanded by Captain George Balfour of the Aetna fire-ship. This they did with such effect. and no consideration could have induced me to leave him.com . during our passage home. but at last they were driven from their trenches. who was killed in the engagement: the scalp had been taken off by an Highlander. We arrived at Cape Breton in the summer of 1758: and here the soldiers were to be landed. was giving the word of command. from the topgallant-mast head to the deck. and other persons of note. and another junior captain. as well as other boys. In this action many were killed on both sides. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. The vice-admiral then went on shore in his barge. superintended the landing. and saved me once a flogging for fighting with a young gentleman. but he would not part with me. They also set fire to a seventy-gun ship. and one evening. and while his mouth was open a musquet ball went through it. At last Louisbourgh was taken. attacked and boarded the only two remaining French men of war in the harbour. I had that day in my hand the scalp of an indian king. who. for I had now more liberty of indulging myself. came on board our ship to dine. full dressed. who was pleased to notice me. At another time. leaving some ships behind with Rear-admirals Sir Charles Hardy and Durell. The French were posted on the shore to receive us. the batteries at the same time playing upon them from the land.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Or GustavusVassa. On this occasion our ships were dressed with colours of all kinds. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.
and about ten at night we had bent a new main sail. and gave us a broadside as they passed by. to our great surprise. The French Commodore was about a gun-shot ahead of all. and a little after the topmast came close by us. and an English East Indiaman. Immediately many things were tossed overboard. we cheered. as the two fleets were (in forty minutes from the first sight) within hail of each other. instead of coming up with her. hoisted their ensigns. so that we saw no more of them. the sea rough. one seventy-four gun ship. I afterwards heard this was a French squadron. which were French. supposing the man of war would likewise strike.com . commanded by Mons. but the next day they were out of sight. but still continued to follow us. about dusk. and so near. if not faster. and were beginning to look for land. the seventy-four gun ship we had passed came again by us in the very same direction. thinking they were sure of this French ship.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and. To my utter surprise the Somerset. but. Conflans. Nothing could create greater surprise and confusion among us than this: the wind was high. By this time both fleets began to mingle. All rights are reserved. and had a mind to fight us. yet not a shot was fired on either side. We chased them all day till between three and four o'clock in the evening. and our admiral ordered his flag to be hoisted. from being so near. the Royal William and the Somerset being our sternmost ships. all large ships of the line. who now hoisted her colours. However we gave them chase. who was the next ship astern of the Namur. that we heard her people talk as she went by. who were one or two ships in number more than we. but she did not. or near soundings. 44 hh-bb. we descried seven sail of large men of war. This caused another loud cheer with us. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. we found she went as fast as ever. made way likewise. became a little prepared. and each gave the French ships a broadside as they passed by. However. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and we only had the old Indiaman (called Carnarvon I think) for our trouble. the ships were made ready for fighting as soon as possible. At that instant the other fleet. But we were not long before we were prepared for an engagement. when we were in the channel. and the Indiaman also. the old one being split. we wore ship. we must have taken her. though if we had fired into her. and about four o'clock he carried his foretopmast overboard. On this we made a signal for the other ships to take possession of her. she joined her commodore. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. so that not a single gun on board was ready to be fired at any of the French ships. that they were English men of war. and. they might have done us great mischief. We chased all night. and the wind lulling. Being now in readiness for fighting. and at daylight we saw six of them. and about five or six o'clock. they cheered in the same manner. but immediately hauled them down again. and some of our people even began to name some of the ships. and stood after the French fleet. The sea grew now much smoother. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. a prize they had taken. which stood off shore. and continued pursuing them all night. and passed within a musquet shot of. and we had our lower and middle deck guns housed in. when we came up with. and certainly had the Frenchmen known our condition. Or GustavusVassa. running from us with all speed. Several people on board of our ship said. just as it grew dark.
from whence the admiral went to London. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and also another large ship astern of us. we got safe to St. about the close of the year 1758-9. by starting our water. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Helen's. Or GustavusVassa. and then went into Portsmouth harbour to refit. with a press-gang. and. and my master and I soon followed. Here the Namur ran aground. we got the ships off without any damage. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. 45 hh-bb. All rights are reserved. We stayed for a short time at Spithead. as we wanted some hands to complete our complement. but.com . and tossing many things overboard to lighten her. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and soon made the land.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. After this we stood in for the channel.
to imbibe their spirit. I now not only felt myself quite easy with these new countrymen. which was the effect of my ignorance. and was. in that respect at least. a great part of which I had spent at sea. and therefore I had the stronger desire to resemble them. and I perfectly understood every thing that was said. I have often reflected with surprise that I never felt half the alarm at any of the numerous dangers I have been in. but as men superior to us. and when he arrives there he is suddenly seized by his master and carried forcibly on board a West India ship and sold. when I first came among them. in August 1759--Dreadful explosion of a French ship--The author sails for England--His master appointed to the command of a fire-ship--Meets a negro boy. and every new thing that I observed I treasured up in my memory. with his manner of extricating himself--. Or GustavusVassa.Surrender of Belle-Isle--Transactions afterwards on the coast of France--Remarkable instance of kidnapping--The author returns to England--Hears a talk of peace. I could now speak English tolerably well. I soon grew a stranger to terror of every kind. It was now between two and three years since I first came to England. from whom he experiences much benevolence--Prepares for an expedition against Belle-Isle--A remarkable story of a disaster which befel his ship--Arrives at Belle-Isle--Operations of the landing and siege--The author's danger and distress. The author is baptized--Narrowly escapes drowning--Goes on an expedition to the Mediterranean--Incidents he met with there--Is witness to an engagement between some English and French ships--A particular account of the celebrated engagement between Admiral Boscawen and Mons. IV. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. so that I became inured to that service. and my attachment and gratitude to him were very great. for my master treated me always extremely well. Le Clue. and began to consider myself as happily situated.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. From the various scenes I had beheld on shipboard. CHAPTER. wore away as I began to know them. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. I therefore embraced every occasion of improvement. 46 hh-bb. but had made as yet very little Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and imitate their manners. even the most trifling. and for this purpose I took every opportunity to gain instruction. but relished their society and manners. however. and at every act of theirs. and expects his freedom--His ship sails for Deptford to be paid off. I no longer looked upon them as spirits. I had long wished to be able to read and write. and for some time afterwards. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.com . off Cape Logas. that I was filled with at the first sight of the Europeans. That fear. almost an Englishman.
On this occasion Miss Guerin did me the honour to stand as godmother. for I had now some faint idea of a future state: accordingly I communicated my anxiety to the eldest Miss Guerin. and afterwards gave me a treat. when to my great joy she told me I should. She had formerly asked my master to let me be baptized. which was now ready to put to sea. and often in the watermen's wherries. and.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Margaret's church. Accordingly I went to get out of the wherry I was in. Or GustavusVassa. and about the beginning of the spring 1759. Here I used to enjoy myself in playing about the bridge stairs. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. the Miss Guerins. and some valuable presents. with whom I was become a favourite. at the same time. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. with other boys. to my no small grief. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 47 hh-bb. which was at the foot of Westminster-bridge. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and always attended while I stayed in London. with his gang. When I came to Spithead. and. and we went out into the current of the river: while we were there two more stout boys came to us in another wherry. with my master at his rendezvous-house. by my present name. so I was baptized in St. not being able to swim. progress. The Namur being again got ready for sea. The clergyman. However. Westminster. who soon came on board. in February 1759. he sent me to wait upon the Miss Guerins. so that I fell into the Thames. I was sometimes. written by the Bishop of Sodor and Man. While I was attending these ladies their servants told me I could not go to Heaven unless I was baptized. and took great pains to instruct me in the principles of religion and the knowledge of God. which I desired of all things. I therefore parted from those amiable ladies with reluctance. We only waited for the arrival of the admiral. was ordered on board. I used to attend these ladies about the town. gave me a book. however. and they sent me to school. to repair on board with my master. desired me to get into the other wherry-boat. Sailed for the Mediterranean. however she now insisted on it. whom I liked very much. Shortly after my arrival. when I went to London with my master. I should unavoidably have been drowned. All rights are reserved. but just as I had got one of my feet into the other boat the boys shoved it off.com . but for the assistance of some watermen who providentially came to my relief. my master. and got under way. and he being under some obligation to her brother complied with her request. which I gladly embraced. but he had refused. and. as I had thus many opportunities of seeing London. This made me very uneasy. abusing us for taking the boat. without uneasiness and regret. They often used to teach me to read. Nor did I leave my kind patronesses. having weighed anchor. with a large fleet. I was obliged to leave my schoolmaster. On one of these occasions there was another boy with me in a wherry. who had treated me with much kindness when I was there before. I had soon an opportunity of improving myself. and pressed her to have me baptized. after receiving from them many friendly cautions how to conduct myself. called a Guide to the Indians. I found we were destined for the Mediterranean. in which service I was extremely happy.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. when I was on shore. I suppose to see that no depredations were committed by our men. superintended the watering of ours. While we were at Gibraltar. I was much rejoiced at this news. One day. All rights are reserved. At another time I saw the master of a frigate towed to shore on a grating. On board the same ship there was also a sailor hung up at the yard-arm. While we were here I used to be often on shore. from the Land's End. there was great reason to fear their getting loose. and when the captain came on board of our ship. he would bring me to her. to my master: these he afterwards gave to me. as I have related before. though all the guns were well housed. whom I loved. I found her to be of another nation. For that purpose he and the officers of the other ships. he conducted me to a black young woman. the ship rolled so much. After we had cruised here for a short time. and grieved for. and very cheap. as I had seen a man hanged in London by his neck. and if they had it must have proved our destruction. who had gone in her when she sailed for Turkey. and of our being separated. who was so like my sister. at one of the moles[L]: I thought this a strange sight. in my excursions on shore. and mentioning these circumstances to some persons. at first sight. that. the story of my being kidnapped with my sister. and. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The sea ran so high that. with inexpressible sorrow. and. remarkable for its silk manufactures. and my master. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. As soon as she arrived. which he did immediately after. After lying at Gibraltar for some time. who spoke different languages. while my heart leaped for joy: and. I really thought it was her: but I was quickly undeceived. indeed. and all his other things. I learned from the boat's crew that the dear youth was dead! and that they had brought his chest. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. who were on the same service. had tents pitched in the bay. we came to Barcelona. on talking to her. Improbable as this story was I believed it immediately. much greater than any I had ever yet experienced. I saw a soldier hanging by his heels. but. Dick. and the Spanish soldiers were stationed along the shore. and expected every minute to embrace him. Here the ships were all to be watered. if I would accompany him. by several of the men of war's boats. 48 hh-bb. and in eleven days.com . where we were one night overtaken with a terrible gale of wind. one of them told me he knew where my sister was. and discharged the fleet. my master told me I should now see my old companion. and my sorrow at having never met her again. and I regarded them as a memorial of my friend. I ran to inquire after my friend. and used often to interpret for the admiral. and agreed to go with him. I had frequently told several people. we sailed up the Mediterranean a considerable way above the Gulf of Lyons. we got to Gibraltar. and got various fruits in great plenty. which I understood was a mark of disgrace for cowardice. as a brother. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. While we lay here the Preston came in from the Levant. Or GustavusVassa. a Spanish sea-port. and I had as often expressed my anxiety for her fate.
where they would sometimes divert themselves by mounting me on the horses or mules. and setting them off at full gallop. and I saw a smart fight here. and many people of all stations. many people and ships' boats were left on shore in the bustle. which diverted me very much. hurry and confusion throughout the whole fleet. thinking to take or destroy them. in bending their sails and slipping their cables. but to put the sails to the yards. After this we sailed for Gibraltar. Or GustavusVassa. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. They soon came up to the Frenchmen. Here we remained with all our sails unbent. we came off a place where there were two small French frigates lying in shore. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. that the admiral was obliged to send in many boats to tow them back to the fleet. in our cruise. both by sea and land: for the frigates were covered by batteries. who brought us fruits of all kinds. They used also to bring wine down to us in hog and sheep skins. so that I could not fall. and he told me our ships had done considerable mischief that day on shore and in the batteries. though not without much difficulty: and a little after some of the people left the other frigate also. they were so much annoyed from the batteries. After the ships were watered. and I was charmed with this place. However. my imperfect skill in horsemanship all the while affording them no small entertainment. which they as furiously returned. which raked them both in going and coming: their topmasts were shot away. while the fleet was watering and doing other necessary things. and our admiral. for the purpose of intercepting a fleet of French men of war that lay there. in particular.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and all our lieutenants were employed amongst the fleet to tell the ships not to wait for their captains. but the people escaped. and arrived there about August 1759. and it is impossible to describe the noise. I afterwards sailed with a man who fought in one of the French batteries during the engagement. being on shore. All the time we stayed it was like a fair with the natives. We had two captains on board of our ship who came away in the hurry and left their ships to follow. and in this confusion of making ready for fighting we set out for sea in the dark after the French fleet. While we were in this situation.com . At last one frigate sunk. used to come often to my master's tent to visit him. and they were otherwise so much shattered. about seven o'clock in the evening we were alarmed by signals from the frigates stationed for that purpose. The admiral immediately came on board with some other officers. One Sunday. and they played upon our ships most furiously. Here I could have exclaimed with Ajax. slip their cables and follow us. All rights are reserved. The Spanish officers here treated our officers with great politeness and attention. our ships did not venture to bring her away. with most of the principal officers. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and in an instant there was a general cry that the French fleet was out. We shewed lights from the gun-whale to the main topmast-head. and some of them. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. 49 hh-bb. and for a long time a constant firing was kept up on all sides at an amazing rate. we returned to our old station of cruizing off Toulon. and just passing through the streights. which was a mere wreck. one day the admiral. and sold them to us much cheaper than I got them in England. sent two ships in after them--the Culloden and the Conqueror. I used constantly to attend my master.
My station during the engagement was on the middle-deck. and launched into eternity. who was ahead of them all. and the French admiral and some of the crew got ashore. though the shot and splinters flew thick about me during the whole fight. finding it impossible to get the ships off. to bring powder to the aftermost gun. he went after the French. continuing to do so for some time. and another large French ship. and here I was a witness of the dreadful fate of many of my companions. where I was quartered with another boy. which was immediately proclaimed with loud huzzas and acclamations. 50 hh-bb. an eighty-four gun ship: as we passed they all fired on us. who was in the Ocean. "Oh Jove! O father! if it be thy will That we must perish. Mons. to my astonishment. when our ships came up with them. our gallant admiral only fought them with his own division. Notwithstanding which our admiral would not suffer a gun to be fired at any of them." They had got the start of us so far that we were not able to come up with them during the night. and some other ships. of sixty-four guns. The engagement now commenced with great fury on both sides: the Ocean immediately returned our fire. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and Le Temeraire and Centaur. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Happily I escaped unhurt. which was attended with a noise louder and more terrible than thunder. so that we were just ship for ship. in the twinkling of an eye. during which I was frequently stunned with the thundering of the great guns.com . At last the French line was entirely broken. that seemed to rend every element around us. La Modeste. but made us lie on our bellies on the deck till we came quite close to the Ocean. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The Ocean. and we obtained the victory. In less than a minute the midnight for a certain space seemed turned into day by the blaze. We immediately chased them till about four o'clock in the evening. but we. Or GustavusVassa. We took three prizes. endeavouring to escape. Towards the latter part of it my master was wounded. and we continued engaged with each other for some time. Our ship being very much damaged. The rest of the French ships took to flight with all the sail they could crowd. About midnight I saw the Ocean blow up. I never beheld a more awful scene. the admiral immediately quitted her. on the coast of Portugal. We passed by the whole of the enemy's fleet in order to come at their commander. and. and quite disabled from pursuing the enemy. and went in the broken and only boat we had left on board the Newark. La Clue. though we were about fifteen large ships. were dashed in pieces. and at one time three of them fired together. when we had orders to pour the whole three tiers into her at once. of seventy-four guns each. ran ashore at Cape Logas.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. But let us perish by the light of day. All rights are reserved. and I saw him carried down Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. set fire to them both. we thy will obey. but at daylight we saw seven sail of the line of battle some miles ahead. who. with which. whose dreadful contents hurried many of my companions into awful eternity. called the Redoubtable. which consisted of seven. with a most dreadful explosion.
but. I could go and come with my powder: but immediately afterwards I thought this caution was fruitless. and our rigging so much shattered. I met with a trifling incident. We were also. and others. All rights are reserved. On the passage. but though I was much alarmed for him and wished to assist him I dared not leave my post. so that we were obliged to get many carpenters. and others from some of the ships of the fleet. The latter I had learned a little of before I left the Namur. was transported at the sight of one of his own countrymen. and I had leisure to improve myself in reading and writing. and we. I instantly cast off all fear or thought whatever of death. I was one day in a field belonging to a gentleman who had a black boy about my own size. besides the number of our killed and wounded. Here I spent my time very pleasantly. and then. pleasing myself with the hope. which being done. that our mizen-mast and main-yard. I now became the captain's steward. at first I thought it would be safest not to go for the powder till the Frenchmen had fired their broadside. to assist in setting us in some tolerable order. from our employment. hung over the side of the ship. it took us some time before we were completely refitted. At this station my gun-mate (a partner in bringing powder for the same gun) and I ran a very great risk for more than half an hour of blowing up the ship.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I expected therefore every minute to be my last. to the surgeon. after which we left Admiral Broderick to command. Our ship suffered very much in this engagement. she was almost torn to pieces. when we had taken the cartridges out of the boxes. For. for we had to go through nearly the whole length of the ship to bring the powder. and ran to meet me with the utmost Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. when I should return to London. very much exposed to the enemy's shots. till the beginning of the year sixty-one. cheering myself with the reflection that there was a time allotted for me to die as well as to be born. I liked this little ship very much. in which situation I was very happy: for I was extremely well treated by all on board. while they were charging. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as there was a school on board. I was much on shore all about this delightful island. for. with the prizes. the powder ran all about the deck. the admiral appointed him captain of the Aetna fire-ship. 51 hh-bb. the bottoms of many of them proving rotten. in the isle of Wight. we returned to Spithead and joined a large fleet that was thought to be intended against the Havannah. which surprised me agreeably. and. Or GustavusVassa. and found the inhabitants very civil. steered for England. if I survived the battle. &c. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and went through the whole of my duty with alacrity. notwithstanding. but it caused our ship to be stationed at Cowes. near the match tub: we scarcely had water enough at the last to throw on it. but about that time the king died: whether that prevented the expedition I know not. on which he and I left the Namur. especially when I saw our men fall so thick about me. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. of relating it and the dangers I had escaped to the dear Miss Guerin. and went on board of her at sea.com . When we arrived at Spithead the Aetna went into Portsmouth harbour to refit. While I was here. and. wishing to guard as much against the dangers as possible. this boy having observed me from his master's house. and as soon as my master was something recovered of his wounds.
Mondle had got four steps from his cabin-door. which nearly ran us down.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. hoping to find some relief. he awoke in so great a fright that he could not rest in his bed any longer. the 20th of April. or signal deliverance. This he said had greatly alarmed him. most fearfully--'The Lord have mercy upon us! We are all lost! The Lord have mercy upon us!' Mr. either of myself or others. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and some of his shipmates who heard him only laughed at him. However. though we had never seen each other before. Or GustavusVassa. nor even remain in his cabin. but to no purpose: he soon came close to me and caught hold of me in his arms as if I had been his brother. and he was determined to alter his life. We sailed once more in quest of fame. and all at once I heard the people in the waist cry out. he made a vow that he never would drink strong liquors again. One night. Mondle hearing the cries. a forty-gun ship.com . before Mr. After which. All rights are reserved. immediately ran out of his cabin. Every extraordinary escape. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. This man's cabin was between the decks. He immediately told those on the deck of the agonies of his mind. People generally mock the fears of others when they are themselves in safety. in which he said he had seen many things very awful. whose name was John Mondle. a man of very indifferent morals. Peter to repent. I looked upon to be effected by the interposition of Providence. we joined a very large fleet at Spithead. for the wind was brisk. Captain Clark. commanded by Commodore Keppel. exactly over where I lay. which. haste. which was destined against Belle-Isle. she struck Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and with a number of transport ships with troops on board to make a descent on the place. We had on board a gunner. or we must all have perished. After we had talked together for some time he took me to his master's house. his mind still continuing in a state of agony. I longed to engage in new adventures and see fresh wonders. but to no purpose. where I was treated very kindly. and he immediately got a light. who told him time was short. I had a mind on which every thing uncommon made its full impression. and the dream which occasioned it. 52 hh-bb. he began to read the Scriptures. We had not been above ten days at sea before an incident of this kind happened. and he went upon deck about four o'clock in the morning extremely agitated. his agitation still continuing. and had been warned by St. This ship had just put about. By this time it was exactly half after seven in the morning: I was then under the half-deck at the great cabin door. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I not knowing what he was about turned a little out of his way at first. made no small impression on my mind. and was by the wind. When we got ready. and every event which I considered as marvellous. and we were instantly struck by the Lynne. and endeavoured to compose himself to sleep. and gave away his sea-stores of liquor. abreast of the quarter-deck ladder. whatever credit it may obtain from the reader. This benevolent boy and I were very happy in frequently seeing each other till about the month of March 1761. but had not got full headway. and soon afterwards he laid himself down again on his bed. being terrified with a dream. However. when our ship had orders to fit out again for another expedition.
seeing our situation. and in a minute there was not a bit of wood to be seen where Mr. Now that I am on this subject I beg leave to relate another instance or two which strongly raised my belief of the particular interposition of Heaven. And by using every possible means. with a child at her breast. our ship with her cutwater right in the middle of his bed and cabin. Our ship was in such a shocking condition that we all thought she would instantly go down. when we found she did not sink immediately. This escape of Mr. Every one thought that the mother and child must be both dashed to pieces. As Mr. she was kept together: but it was well we did not meet with any gales of wind. from their insignificance. he never quitted the ship. but. even one of the meanest of his creatures. Mondle's cabin stood. I myself one day fell headlong from the upper-deck of the Aetna down the after-hold. the place of our destination. always considered as a singular act of Providence. and encouraged our people to return and try to save her. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Some of the ships in the fleet. or we must have gone to pieces. and he was so near being killed that some of the splinters tore his face. and she was properly repaired. when the ballast was out. and above three feet below water. In these. particularly frapping her together with many hawsers. a woman. our grappling-irons caught the Lynne every way. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but some would not venture. and the yards and rigging went at an astonishing rate. which he.com . at Plymouth. and to implant the seeds of piety in me. I belonged for a few days in the year 1758 to the Jason. and every one ran for their lives.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. without whose permission a sparrow cannot fall. I began to raise my fear from man to him alone. the captain came on board again. and one night. 53 hh-bb. Mondle must inevitably have perished from this accident had he not been alarmed in the very extraordinary way I have related. but our lieutenant being the aggressor. and then we had all things taken out of the ship. of fifty-four guns. to our great surprise. and graciously condescended to answer me according to his holy word. All rights are reserved. Mondle. The two ships for some time swinged alongside of each other. I could not help regarding this as an awful interposition of Providence for his preservation. I thought I could plainly trace the hand of God. but it took us the whole day to save the ship with all their help. immediately sent their boats to our assistance. for ours being a fire-ship. as well as myself. and in many more instances. and putting a great quantity of tallow below water where she was damaged. fell from the upper-deck down into the hold. I believe had a great influence on his life and conduct ever afterwards. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Many on this came back. near the keel. neither of them was hurt. and ran it up to the combings of the quarter-deck hatchway. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. And in the same ship a man fell from the mast-head on the deck without being hurt. when I was on board. Or GustavusVassa. and got as well as they could on board the Lynne. and which might not otherwise have found a place here. and to call daily on his holy name with fear and reverence: and I trust he heard my supplications. for we were in such a crazy condition that we had ships to attend us till we arrived at Belle-Isle. However. and all who saw me fall cried out I was killed: but I received not the least injury.
which I thought I would now mount. and fired at the French batteries and breastworks from early in the morning till about four o'clock in the evening. which it shattered to pieces. for his negligence in suffering me to pass the lines. and had made every disposition to oppose the landing of our men. and that not without running a very great risk. and my master was ordered on shore to superintend the landing of all the materials necessary for carrying on the siege. seeing me. both from the English shells that burst while I was there. and it threw great quantities of stones and dirt to a considerable distance. particularly. and General Crawford. While I was there I went about to different parts of the island. belonging to some islanders. for the greater expedition of getting off. and my master. In this day's engagement we had also our lieutenant killed. and instantly took the centinel off his post into custody. There. only a small part of them this day being able to effect it. were taken prisoners. One of the largest of their shells bursted within nine or ten yards of me: there was a single rock close by.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. indeed. but likewise from those of the French. All rights are reserved. When we had refitted our ship. I attempted to return the nearest way I could find. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Our men now proceeded to besiege the citadel." for with a most dreadful sound it hissed close by me. lest they should fall into our hands. While I was in this situation I observed at a little distance a French horse. Before the enemy retreated they blew up several of them. Or GustavusVassa. who commanded the outposts. and surprised how I came there. They immediately attacked the French. in which service I mostly attended him. reprimanded me very severely for it. and. and for that purpose I went to an English battery that was but a very few yards from the walls of the citadel. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. one of them in particular seemed "Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage.com . as a junior captain. about the size of a butt. and all things were in readiness for attacking the place. and struck a rock at a little distance. with a number of others. and I got instant shelter under it in time to avoid the fury of the shell. the troops on board the transports were ordered to disembark. my curiosity almost cost me my life. (which was by stealth along the seashore). When I saw what perilous circumstances I was in. Three shot were also fired at me and another boy who was along with me. Where it burst the earth was torn in such a manner that two or three butts might easily have gone into the hole it made. when our soldiers effected a safe landing. The French were drawn up on the shore. On the 21st of April we renewed our efforts to land the men. had a share in the command of the landing. after fighting with great bravery. forced them from the batteries. I wanted very much to see the mode of charging the mortars and letting off the shells. and thereby I got between the English and the French centinels. 54 hh-bb. after a sharp encounter. I had an opportunity of completely gratifying myself in seeing the whole operation. while all the men of war were stationed along the shore to cover it. were cut off. Accordingly I took some cord which I had Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. This was on the 8th of April. and one day. most of them. An English serjeant.
As soon as I found myself at liberty I made the best of my way for the ship. Once or twice the French attacked us by throwing shells with their bomb-vessels: and one day as a French vessel was throwing shells at our ships she broke from her springs. Dennis. which they chained together. and fortunately escaped unhurt. Sebastian in Spain. As soon as I was on the horse's back I began to kick and beat him. but all to very little purpose: I could not drive him out of a slow pace. for. and making a kind of bridle of it. and this he effectually did. and there stayed till the summer. about me. which he appeared fully disposed to do: I therefore thought I had better throw myself off him at once. told him my case. after which[N] we went in February in 1762 to Belle-Isle. still within reach of the enemy's shot. but the Nassau could not bring a gun to bear upon her. Sometimes we would attack the French with some ships of the line. I immediately stopped. both for strength and building: notwithstanding which our shots and shells had made amazing devastation. he began to lash my horse with it so severely. crying. After the taking of this island our ships. &c. Our ships were there from June till February following. Commodores Stanhope. 55 hh-bb. and stratagems on both sides to destroy each others fleet. when we left it. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. when it surrendered. and in the bomb-proofs under it. and the tame beast very quietly suffered me to tie him thus and mount him. our ship and the Wasp sloop were sent to St. I put it round the horse's head. and towed them safe out of the fleet. All rights are reserved. and. I now could not stop my horse. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I met with a servant well mounted on an English horse. before the Spanish war began. at other times with boats. During the siege I have counted above sixty shells and carcases in the air at once. determined I would not be so fool-hardy again in a hurry. We had different commanders while we were at this place. went to Basse-road. and ruinous heaps all around it. We were twice attacked by their fire-floats. and frequently we made prizes. From hence. We continued to besiege the citadel till June. which I did immediately with a great deal of dexterity. which were cut in the solid rock. While I was creeping along. behind the isle of I de Re: the tide being complicated. and thereby the Frenchman got off. with some others commanded by Commodore Stanhope in the Swiftsure. and then let them float down with the tide. while I was quite unable to hold or manage him. and I thought it a surprising place. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. having a fine large whip. and try every means to make him go quick. When this place was taken I went through the citadel. where we blocked up a French fleet. In this manner I went along till I came to a craggy precipice. and begged of him to help me. by Commodore Stanhope. that he set off full speed with me towards the sea.com .The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and in that time I saw a great many scenes of war. and Commodore Dennis afterwards sent our ship as a cartel to Bayonne in France[M]. Or GustavusVassa. she came within a gun shot of the Nassau. but each time we sent boats with graplings. Lord Howe. and my mind was filled with apprehensions of my deplorable fate should he go down the precipice. and returned to Portsmouth.
and many a time we have sat up the whole night together at this employment. and would never suffer me to deceive him. the captain's clerk taught me to write. her daughter. in the beginning of December we had orders to go up to London with our ship to be paid off. which I did not comprehend. and see them again. and also to read in the Bible. and working for myself. and. and remained there till the latter end of November. while I thought the time long till I obtained my freedom. and that if I did so God would not Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. where I was very glad to see my old hostess. and thereby getting money to enable me to get a good education. about forty years of age. and gave me a smattering of arithmetic as far as the rule of three. I used to tell him of this resemblance. I thought now of nothing but being freed. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and reposed in me an unbounded confidence. I was wonderfully surprised to see the laws and rules of my country written almost exactly here. and I promised to return soon. a circumstance which I believe tended to impress our manners and customs more deeply on my memory. Our ship having arrived at Portsmouth. they also styled me the black Christian. not knowing what all-powerful fate had determined for me. explaining many passages to me. and my former little charming companion. and won a few half-pence. There was also one Daniel Queen. This gave me new life and spirits. and took very great pains to instruct me in many things. Many things I have denied myself that he might have them. he always treated me with the greatest kindness. While I was in the Aetna particularly. He used to say. by which I might gain a good livelihood. or tell lies. and while I was on shipboard I had endeavoured to improve myself in both. we went into the harbour. 56 hh-bb. We parted from each other with a great deal of affection. that he and I never should part. yet. I too was not without my share of the general joy on this occasion. for I always had a great desire to be able at least to read and write. besides the assurances I had received that he had no right to detain me. In short. as far as my stock of money would go. he would instruct me in his business. in September she went to Guernsey. We received this news with loud huzzas. He taught me to shave and dress hair a little. he even paid attention to my morals. he was like a father to me. and he likewise dressed and attended the captain. All rights are reserved. Indeed I almost loved him with the affection of a son. of which he used to tell me the consequences. when we had orders to repair to Portsmouth. to our very great joy. I used to buy him a little sugar or tobacco. who was now a widow. I spent some time here very happily with them. which I sometimes did. who messed with me on board this ship. till October. for shaving any one. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and that when our ship was paid off. as I was as free as himself or any other man on board.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Or GustavusVassa. a man very well educated. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. For though my master had not promised it to me. After our ship was fitted out again for service. and some even used to call me after his name. and when I used to play at marbles or any other game. when we heard great talk about peace. Fortunately this man soon became very much attached to me. and nothing but mirth was to be seen throughout every part of the ship. and every other demonstration of gladness. and my heart burned within me.com . or got any little money.
'did not your master buy you?' I confessed he did. but he would take care I should not. and be quiet. The ship was up about half an hour. to the astonishment and sorrow of all on board. from all this tenderness. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. became quite faint different times. I was so struck with the unexpectedness of this proceeding. and would have gone ashore. that for some time I did not make a reply. 'Why. In pursuance of our orders we sailed from Portsmouth for the Thames. 57 hh-bb.' said I. that I had heard a lawyer and others at different times tell my master so. but he swore I should not move out of his sight. for he was resolved to put me on board the first vessel he could get to receive me. and he could not by law serve me so. at the same time taking his hanger. nor to any one else. and arrived at Deptford the 10th of December. saying. They both then said that those people who told me so were not my friends. plucking up courage. and said he would soon let me know whether he would or not. Captain James Doran. so that. I answered that I did not. without having before given me the least reason to suspect any thing of the matter. which revived me a little. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. that he would think of detaining me any longer than I wished. he had a method on board to make me. so that we quickly fell down the river along with it. 'Then. Some of them strove then to cheer me. and. Upon this Captain Doran said I talked too much English. I was too well convinced of his power over me to doubt what he said.' I told him my master could not sell me to him. however. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. for I only got one sixpence during the war. and that they would stand by me. love me. where we cast anchor just as it was high water. to collect myself. and I still entertained hopes.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Or GustavusVassa. and by the laws of the land no man has a right to sell me:' And I added. who pulled against their will. 'But I have served him. had just turned downward.com . for as they pulled along he asked some vessels to receive me. he forced me into the barge. I began. in all my dreams of freedom. All rights are reserved. But. and if I did he would cut my throat. The tide. I told him I was free. till we came among some outward-bound West Indiamen. only I made an offer to go for my books and chest of clothes. and he continued to swear. and he has taken all my wages and prize-money. but I replied--it was very extraordinary that other people did not know the law as well as they. and if I did not behave myself well. and all in an instant. just as we had got a little below Gravesend.' said he.'many years. and at that instant sprung himself into the barge from the ship. But this only enraged him the more. besides this I have been baptized. rather unluckily for me. The boat's crew.' said he 'you are now my slave. but they could not. when my master ordered the barge to be manned. her name was the Charming Sally. and my master went on board and agreed with him for me. I was going to leave him. When I came there Captain Doran asked me if I knew him. and told me he could not sell me. and my former sufferings in the slave-ship presenting themselves to my mind. we came alongside of a ship which was going away the next tide for the West Indies. and in a little time I was sent for into the cabin. the recollection of them Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. but he would not let them. I had never once supposed.
while my heart was ready to burst with sorrow and anguish. and when the boat returned some time afterwards.com . he had a right to it all. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. as soon as they could get their pay. and we searched the ship. Or GustavusVassa.000 L. came out of the cabin. I had scraped together from trifling perquisites and little ventures. in one of the boats with the Lieutenant: but Mr. Mondle would not believe it. that is. though they are themselves at other places at the same time. alas! all my hopes were baffled. and I immediately left the cabin. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and would have taken it. The only coat I had with me my master took away with him. which. as he thought. and said if my prize-money had been 10.] [Footnote M: Among others whom we brought from Bayonne. 58 hh-bb. One day while we were at Bayonne Mr. and I hid it that instant. and a little after. I had about nine guineas. and when they were out of sight I threw myself on the deck. that sometimes shortly before persons die their ward has been seen. still hoping that by some means or other I should make my escape to the shore. he spoke of some circumstances of this man to some of the officers. and indeed some of my old shipmates told me not to despair. and the hour of my deliverance was yet far off. in the gun-room. However. made me shudder. I followed them with aching eyes as long as I could. where this ship was going: but. and that. and they confessed they had made at one time a false bill of sale. when he found the man was actually out of her. having soon concluded his bargain with the captain.] [Footnote N: Some people have it. coming on the quarter-deck.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Mondle thought he saw him. before I retired I told them that as I could not get any right among men here I hoped I should hereafter in Heaven. My master. who had been in the West Indies. filled with resentment and sorrow. lest my master should take that from me likewise. they would immediately come to Portsmouth to me. FOOTNOTES: [Footnote L: He had drowned himself in endeavouring to desert. we found the man had been drowned at the very time Mr. They told him that the man was then out of the ship. and sold two Portuguese white men among a lot of slaves. and he and his people got into the boat and put off. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Mondle saw one of our men. during my long sea-faring life. for they would get me back again. where they sold slaves. some spirit exactly in their likeness. two gentlemen.
in a new slavery. and immediately considered my present situation as a judgment of Heaven on account of my presumption in swearing: I therefore.' and whose horrors. V. which the author saw practised upon the slaves in the West Indies during his captivity from the year 1763 to 1766--Address on it to the planters. ‘The author's reflections on his situation--Is deceived by a promise of being delivered--His despair at sailing for the West Indies--Arrives at Montserrat. as I supposed. in comparison of which all my service hitherto had been 'perfect freedom. CHAPTER. and I said. Or GustavusVassa. Portsmouth. yet mixed with some faint hope that the ‘Lord would appear’ for my deliverance. was I plunged. where she waited a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. he called me to him.’ Thus. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. began to subside. spent with its own violence. for he had hitherto shadowed me with the wings of his mercy. Soon afterwards. However I was made to go under the deck. and with earnest supplications I besought him not to abandon me in my distress. nor cast me from his mercy for ever. 59 hh-bb. with contrition of heart. and after the first confusion of my thoughts was over I reflected with more calmness on my present condition: I considered that trials and disappointments are sometimes for our good. and soon after arrived at the Mother Bank. where he is sold to Mr. This filled me with painful reflections on my past conduct. acknowledged my transgression to God. and I thought God might perhaps have permitted this in order to teach me wisdom and resignation. and told me to behave myself well. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. always present to my mind. My conscience smote me for this unguarded expression: I felt that the Lord was able to disappoint me in all things. and that I should fare the better for it. King--Various interesting instances of oppression. but I made him no answer. now rushed on it with tenfold aggravation.com . No. and extortion. cruelty. at the moment I expected all my toils to end. I recollected that on the morning of our arrival at Deptford I had rashly sworn that as soon as we reached London I would spend the day in rambling and sport. and I rose at last from the deck with dejection and sorrow in my countenance. and was well watched. All rights are reserved. and do the business of the ship the same as any of the rest of the boys. and by his invisible but powerful hand brought me the way I knew not.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and poured out my soul before him with unfeigned repentance. The next tide the ship got under way. In a little time my grief. These reflections gave me a little comfort. I was then asked if I could swim. as my new master was going ashore. I wept very bitterly for some time: and began to think that I must have done something to displease the Lord. that he thus punished me so severely.
made a signal for sailing. and men oppress no more. A sailor on board took a guinea from me on pretence of getting me a boat. the next morning. and a lady also. unfortunately for me. few days for some of the West India convoy. All rights are reserved. the gale that wafted my prison. They also sent me word they would come off to me themselves the next day or the day after. rogue like. This lady had been once very intimate with my former master: I used to sell and take care of a great deal of property for her. she had conceived a pique against me on some occasion when she was on board. and. now without hope! I kept my swimming eyes upon the land in a state of unutterable grief. In the first expressions of my grief I reproached my fate.com . some of them did come there. and his trick was made known to the ship's crew. the wind being brisk and easterly. to my inexpressible anguish our ship had got under way. before any of my friends had an opportunity to come off to my relief. at last. When he had the watch upon deck I watched also. of my intention to go off. and their own. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. the fellow gave information. and used to tell my master that she would take me away to live with her: but. All the ships then got up their anchors. and I called on death to relieve me from the horrors I felt and dreaded. and even the ship that conducted us. However. While I was here I tried every means I could devise amongst the people of the ship to get me a boat from the shore. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I was still in hopes that my old shipmates would not forget their promise to come for me to Portsmouth: and. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I was ready to curse the tide that bore us. and she was succeeded in my master's good graces by another lady. as I afterwards found. and mostly lodged on board. and I a prisoner on board. Fool that I was. and looked long enough. 60 hh-bb. a disagreement soon afterwards took place between them. and other tokens of their regard. I had some satisfaction in seeing him detested and despised by them all for his behaviour to me. Or GustavusVassa. the 30th of December. and promised me. and in return she always shewed great friendship for me. was hoisted in again immediately. And what I thought was still the worst of all. and despairing how to help myself. and in one day's time I lost sight of the wished-for land. which was to escort the convoy. that I might be in that place "Where slaves are free. but not till the day before we sailed. and she did not fail to instigate my master to treat me in the manner he did[O]. time after time. What tumultuous emotions agitated my soul when the convoy got under sail.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. but all in vain. inur'd so long to pain. who appeared sole mistress of the Aetna. he never told them he had got a guinea from me to procure my escape. However. whenever it was used. and sent me off some oranges. who lived in Gosport. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. the Oeolus frigate. indeed. after we had sailed. and wished I had never been born. While my mind was in this situation the fleet sailed on. as there was none suffered to come alongside of the ship. not knowing what to do. but. that it was hourly to come off. I could never see either the boat or my guinea again. wrote to me that she would come and take me out of the ship at the same time. if I could in any way do it. I was not so great a favourite with this lady as with the former. all the while to the mates. in different ships.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I was made to help to unload Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. we descried our destined island Montserrat. to direct the stroke of death to me. I called upon God's thunder. doleful shades. and she instantly went down and was ingulfed in the dark recesses of the ocean." The turbulence of my emotions however naturally gave way to calmer thoughts. and wish to wake no more[P]. and the Oeolus was illumined with lights to prevent any farther mischief. To groan beneath some dastard planter's chain." At the sight of this land of bondage. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. where peace And rest can rarely dwell. And as their souls with shame and anguish burn. My former slavery now rose in dreadful review to my mind. ere the dawn of day. a fresh horror ran through all my frame. repair To stalls as wretched. rather than permit me to become a slave. All rights are reserved. in the first paroxysm of my grief. and displayed nothing but misery. Pursue their toils till all his race is run. when one morning the Oeolus ran down a brig.com . * * * * * Now dragg'd once more beyond the western main. and soon after I beheld those: "Regions of sorrow. for six weeks. Hope never comes That comes to all. from the mast-head. and chains. Or GustavusVassa. Thank heaven one day of mis'ry was o'er. one of the convoy. chiding ev'ry hour the slow-pac'd sun. and I soon perceived what fate had decreed no mortal on earth could prevent. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and chilled me to the heart. The convoy was immediately thrown into great confusion till it was daylight. till February. I now knew what it was to work hard. Where my poor countrymen in bondage wait The long enfranchisement of ling'ring fate: Hard ling'ring fate! while. To trust to hope. And. No eye to mark their suff'rings with a tear. or dream of joy again. and no hope to cheer: Then. and soon after discharged her cargo. and his avenging power. 61 hh-bb. Salute with groans unwelcome morn's return. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The convoy sailed on without any accident. Then sink to sleep. stripes. Rous'd by the lash they go their cheerless way. On the 13th of February 1763. with a pleasant gale and smooth sea. but torture without end Still urges. like the dull unpity'd brutes. and. and as coarse a fare. In this state of my mind our ship came to an anchor. and be sold from lord to lord. No friend to comfort.
I had been so long used to an European climate that at first I felt the scorching West India sun very painful. a character which I afterwards found of infinite service to me. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. when we got there he would put me to school. and expecting their bursting would mix me with the dead. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I at that instant burst out a crying. Captain Doran sent for me ashore one morning. I should be very well off with him. when the ship was got ready to sail for England. This conversation relieved my mind a little. With fluttering steps and trembling heart I came to the captain. or even attended with instant death. The captain then told me my former master had sent me there to be sold. This made them afraid of disobliging him. King. I went on board again. Sometimes our limbs were broken with this. while the dashing surf would toss the boat and the people in it frequently above high water mark. but that he had desired him to get me the best master he could. and found with him one Mr. And indeed I soon found that he fully deserved the good character which Captain Doran had given me of him. but at Philadelphia. and took leave of all my shipmates. He told me he had got me the very best master in the whole island.com . and load the ship. If any of his slaves behaved amiss he did not beat or use them ill. and as he treated his slaves better than any other man Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and if my new master had not been kind to me I believe I should have died under it at last. and I left those gentlemen considerably more at ease in myself than when I came to them. and for that reason he chose to let him have me. for he was very sure that when I came there I would leave him. I all the time believing that Fate's blackest clouds were gathering over my head. but he could not venture to take me to London. to comfort me in my distress in that time. and was very charitable and humane. as I understood something of the rules of arithmetic. for he possessed a most amiable disposition and temper. and fit me for a clerk. and I was day by day mangled and torn. and I was told by the messenger that my fate was then determined. but parted with them. and even to my old master. And. where he was going soon. as he had not the least doubt of my good behaviour. Mr. two of the sailors robbed me of all my money. for the character they had given me. a quaker. All rights are reserved.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. as he told him I was a very deserving boy. my new master. and. and if he were to stay in the West Indies he would be glad to keep me himself. though he could sell me to his own brother-in-law for a great deal more money than what he got from this gentleman. and. 62 hh-bb. About the middle of May. and I was very grateful to Captain Doran. and said the reason he had bought me was on account of my good character. I was so bowed down with grief that I could not hold up my head for many months. and the first merchant in the place. Robert King. He also told me he did not live in the West Indies. with whom I should be as happy as if I were in England. which Captain Doran said he found to be true. and ran away from the ship. Or GustavusVassa. then made a reply. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and the next day the ship sailed. but all to no purpose. and followed her with my eyes and tears until she was totally out of sight. When she weighed anchor I went to the waterside and looked at her with a very wishful and aching heart. and begged much of him to take me to England with him.
though sometimes only ten pence. which used to go about the island. and seldom more than six pence. and. where I had often done it. so he was better and more faithfully served by them in return. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. from one hour to sixteen in the twentyfour. as they knew my master to be a man of feeling. after they had been paid for these poor people's labours. I told him I knew something of seamanship. King dealt in all manner of merchandize. Mr. of different sizes. some of whom. I knew a countryman of mine who once did not bring the weekly money directly that it was earned. from their masters or owners. and this generally on Sundays. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. when they wanted the time for themselves. and found the poor fellows in victuals himself. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and that I could write. and with fortitude. However this was considerably more than was allowed to other slaves that used to work with me. He then asked me if I knew any thing of gauging. 63 hh-bb. Mr. and belonged to other gentlemen on the island: those poor souls had never more than nine pence per day. this allowance is often very scanty. and at the same time said he did not mean to treat me as a common slave. yet he was staked to the ground for this pretended negligence. particularly to Philadelphia. in the sugar seasons used to be my constant employment.com . In particular. determined to face whatever fate had decreed for me. in order to let them out to planters and merchants at so much a piece by the day. they were always glad to work for him in preference to any other gentleman. on the island. and often severely flogged by their owners if they did not bring them their daily or weekly money exactly to the time. Many times have I even seen these unfortunate wretches beaten for asking for their pay.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. He loaded many vessels in a year. though they earned them three or four pisterines[Q]: for it is a common practice in the West Indies for men to purchase slaves though they have not plantations themselves. The slaves used to like this very well. and could shave and dress hair pretty well. My master often gave the owners of these slaves two and a half of these pieces per day. on my answering that I did not. King soon asked me what I could do. though the poor creatures were obliged to wait on the gentlemen they had worked for sometimes for more than half the day before they could get their pay. would not give them their allowance out of it. By his kind treatment I did at last endeavour to compose myself. and was connected with a great mercantile house in that city. and kept from one to six clerks. and other goods. because he thought their owners did not feed them well enough according to the work they did. and understood arithmetic tolerably well as far as the Rule of Three. and this hard work. he said one of his clerks should teach me to gauge. during which I had fifteen pence sterling per day to live on. Or GustavusVassa. though moneyless. which I had learned on shipboard. and they give what allowance they chuse out of this produce of their daily work to their slaves for subsistence. He had besides many vessels and droggers. which was the first that he set me to. I have rowed the boat. and others to collect rum. where he was born. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. and though he brought it the same day to his master. and slaved at the oars. and I could refine wines. I understood pulling and managing those boats very well. sugar. and.
com . in this place. and I had no victuals allowed me by either party. knowing this to be a negro-man's boat. run away where they can for shelter. 64 hh-bb. and thereby he saved many of them a flogging. and. or any other negro. and take care of his horse. Or GustavusVassa. In many of the estates. unable to get their pay when they have earned it.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. during the time I served Mr. at last I told my master of this treatment. where I saw him afterwards several times. I had all the opportunity I could wish for to see the dreadful usage of the poor men. King. unknown to his master. Some time after he had this little estate the governor wanted a boat to bring his sugar from different parts of the island. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. in receiving and delivering cargoes to the ships. for a few days. Such treatment as this often drives these miserable wretches to despair. he seized upon it for himself. Nor did he scruple to say I was of more Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. as usual. and complained to him of this act of the governor. The man on this went to his master. My master used sometimes. and then he used to pay him from six to ten pisterines a day. and made me bless God for the hands into which I had fallen. and would not pay the owner a farthing. he was not without consolation. and when it was necessary. as I was told. in going about the different estates on the island. besides this. Extortion and rapine are poor providers. and delivering goods: and. that he had got a white man to buy him a boat. This poor man was very industrious. and he took me away from it. By these means I became very useful to my master. and fearing to be flogged. by his frugality. had saved so much money by working on shipboard. above a hundred pounds a year. they would not deliver it to me. and he found some means to escape from his Christian master: he came to England. in tending stores. I used to shave and dress my master when convenient. I was let out to fit a vessel. I often supplied the place of a clerk. I had the good fortune to please my master in every department in which he employed me. who asked him how dared any of his negroes to have a boat. to agree with their owners. but the only satisfaction he received was to be damned very heartily by his master. which was very often. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and. if they return home without it. The last war favoured this poor negro-man. Once. he was therefore obliged to send a white man along with me to those places. and they run away from their masters at the hazard of their lives. and a reward is often offered to bring them in dead or alive. All rights are reserved. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I worked likewise on board of different vessels of his. usage that reconciled me to my situation. in these cases. as he used to acknowledge. Many of them. and there was scarcely any part of his business. in great poverty. or household affairs. and was just going to receive a hundred lashes. From being thus employed. on the different islands where I used to be sent for rum or sugar. and some time after this the governor died in the King's Bench in England. in which I was not occasionally engaged. If the justly-merited ruin of the governor's fortune could be any gratification to the poor man he had thus robbed. and saved him. but for a gentleman who begged him off fifty. and to settle with them himself.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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advantage to him than any of his clerks; though their usual wages in the West Indies are from sixty to a hundred pounds current a year. I have sometimes heard it asserted that a negro cannot earn his master the first cost; but nothing can be further from the truth. I suppose nine tenths of the mechanics throughout the West Indies are Negro slaves; and I well know the coopers among them earn two dollars a day; the carpenters the same, and oftentimes more; as also the masons, smiths, and fishermen, &c. and I have known many slaves whose masters would not take a thousand pounds current for them. But surely this assertion refutes itself; for, if it be true, why do the planters and merchants pay such a price for slaves? And, above all, why do those who make this assertion exclaim the most loudly against the abolition of the slave trade? So much are men blinded, and to such inconsistent arguments are they driven by mistaken interest! I grant, indeed, that slaves are some times, by half-feeding, half-clothing, over-working and stripes, reduced so low, that they are turned out as unfit for service, and left to perish in the woods, or expire on a dunghill. My master was several times offered by different gentlemen one hundred guineas for me; but he always told them he would not sell me, to my great joy: and I used to double my diligence and care for fear of getting into the hands of those men who did not allow a valuable slave the common support of life. Many of them even used to find fault with my master for feeding his slaves so well as he did; although I often went hungry, and an Englishman might think my fare very indifferent; but he used to tell them he always would do it, because the slaves thereby looked better and did more work. While I was thus employed by my master I was often a witness to cruelties of every kind, which were exercised on my unhappy fellow slaves. I used frequently to have different cargoes of new negroes in my care for sale; and it was almost a constant practice with our clerks, and other whites, to commit violent depredations on the chastity of the female slaves; and these I was, though with reluctance, obliged to submit to at all times, being unable to help them. When we have had some of these slaves on board my master's vessels to carry them to other islands, or to America, I have known our mates to commit these acts most shamefully, to the disgrace, not of Christians only, but of men. I have even known them gratify their brutal passion with females not ten years old; and these abominations some of them practised to such scandalous excess, that one of our captains discharged the mate and others on that account. And yet in Montserrat I have seen a negro man staked to the ground, and cut most shockingly, and then his ears cut off bit by bit, because he had been connected with a white woman who was a common prostitute: as if it were no crime in the whites to rob an innocent African girl of her virtue; but most heinous in a black man only to gratify a passion of nature, where the temptation was offered by one of a different colour, though the most abandoned woman of her species.
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Another negro man was half hanged, and then burnt, for attempting to poison a cruel overseer. Thus by repeated cruelties are the wretched first urged to despair, and then murdered, because they still retain so much of human nature about them as to wish to put an end to their misery, and retaliate on their tyrants! These overseers are indeed for the most part persons of the worst character of any denomination of men in the West Indies. Unfortunately, many humane gentlemen, by not residing on their estates, are obliged to leave the management of them in the hands of these human butchers, who cut and mangle the slaves in a shocking manner on the most trifling occasions, and altogether treat them in every respect like brutes. They pay no regard to the situation of pregnant women, nor the least attention to the lodging of the field negroes. Their huts, which ought to be well covered, and the place dry where they take their little repose, are often open sheds, built in damp places; so that, when the poor creatures return tired from the toils of the field, they contract many disorders, from being exposed to the damp air in this uncomfortable state, while they are heated, and their pores are open. This neglect certainly conspires with many others to cause a decrease in the births as well as in the lives of the grown negroes. I can quote many instances of gentlemen who reside on their estates in the West Indies, and then the scene is quite changed; the negroes are treated with lenity and proper care, by which their lives are prolonged, and their masters are profited. To the honour of humanity, I knew several gentlemen who managed their estates in this manner; and they found that benevolence was their true interest. And, among many I could mention in several of the islands, I knew one in Montserrat[R] whose slaves looked remarkably well, and never needed any fresh supplies of negroes; and there are many other estates, especially in Barbadoes, which, from such judicious treatment, need no fresh stock of negroes at any time. I have the honour of knowing a most worthy and humane gentleman, who is a native of Barbadoes, and has estates there[S]. This gentleman has written a treatise on the usage of his own slaves. He allows them two hours for refreshment at mid-day; and many other indulgencies and comforts, particularly in their lying; and, besides this, he raises more provisions on his estate than they can destroy; so that by these attentions he saves the lives of his negroes, and keeps them healthy, and as happy as the condition of slavery can admit. I myself, as shall appear in the sequel, managed an estate, where, by those attentions, the negroes were uncommonly cheerful and healthy, and did more work by half than by the common mode of treatment they usually do. For want, therefore, of such care and attention to the poor negroes, and otherwise oppressed as they are, it is no wonder that the decrease should require 20,000 new negroes annually to fill up the vacant places of the dead. Even in Barbadoes, notwithstanding those humane exceptions which I have mentioned, and others I am acquainted with, which justly make it quoted as a place where slaves meet with the best treatment, and need fewest recruits of any
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in the West Indies, yet this island requires 1000 negroes annually to keep up the original stock, which is only 80,000. So that the whole term of a negro's life may be said to be there but sixteen years![T] And yet the climate here is in every respect the same as that from which they are taken, except in being more wholesome. Do the British colonies decrease in this manner? And yet what a prodigious difference is there between an English and West India climate? While I was in Montserrat I knew a negro man, named Emanuel Sankey, who endeavoured to escape from his miserable bondage, by concealing himself on board of a London ship: but fate did not favour the poor oppressed man; for, being discovered when the vessel was under sail, he was delivered up again to his master. This Christian master immediately pinned the wretch down to the ground at each wrist and ancle, and then took some sticks of sealing wax, and lighted them, and droped it all over his back. There was another master who was noted for cruelty; and I believe he had not a slave but what had been cut, and had pieces fairly taken out of the flesh: and, after they had been punished thus, he used to make them get into a long wooden box or case he had for that purpose, in which he shut them up during pleasure. It was just about the height and breadth of a man; and the poor wretches had no room, when in the case, to move. It was very common in several of the islands, particularly in St. Kitt's, for the slaves to be branded with the initial letters of their master's name; and a load of heavy iron hooks hung about their necks. Indeed on the most trifling occasions they were loaded with chains; and often instruments of torture were added. The iron muzzle, thumb-screws, &c. are so well known, as not to need a description, and were sometimes applied for the slightest faults. I have seen a Negro beaten till some of his bones were broken, for even letting a pot boil over. Is it surprising that usage like this should drive the poor creatures to despair, and make them seek a refuge in death from those evils which render their lives intolerable--while, "With shudd'ring horror pale, and eyes aghast, They view their lamentable lot, and find No rest!" This they frequently do. A negro-man on board a vessel of my master, while I belonged to her, having been put in irons for some trifling misdemeanor, and kept in that state for some days, being weary of life, took an opportunity of jumping overboard into the sea; however, he was picked up without being drowned. Another, whose life was also a burden to him, resolved to starve himself to death, and refused to eat any victuals; this procured him a severe flogging: and he also, on the first occasion which offered, jumped overboard at Charles Town, but was saved.
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or to the market.' Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Nothing is more common than for the white people on this occasion to take the grass from them without paying for it. wilfully kill a negro. for running away. to my knowledge. but too often also. whom I have seen for hours stand crying to no purpose. and pay for me afterwards. Nor is there any greater regard shewn to the little property than there is to the persons and lives of the negroes. 68 hh-bb. however. interposed and prevented him. and get no redress or pay of any kind. (either a bit. as my captain was absent. who are they? One of these depredators once. whose heart had not been debauched by a West India climate. at the same time have committed acts of violence on the poor. he began the common pranks with me. of his own. our clerks. All rights are reserved. it is enacted 'That if any negro. and helpless females. to sell. that it might seem impertinent to quote the following extract. Eustatia. and swore he would even break open my chest and take my money.com . he shall pay into the public treasury fifteen pounds sterling. page 125. the blind. and if these are not the poor. which our Saviour speaks of. But had the cruel man struck me I certainly should have defended myself at the hazard of my life. I have already related an instance or two of particular oppression out of many which I have witnessed. and. By the 329th Act. in St. This they commonly tie up in a parcel. and many others. no person whatsoever shall be liable to a fine. or half a bit's-worth) and bring it to town. or other slave. not seeing my captain on board. the broken-hearted. wretched. Or GustavusVassa. Is not this one common and crying sin enough to bring down God's judgment on the islands? He tells us the oppressor and the oppressed are both in his hands. when fortunately a British seaman on board. for what is life to a man thus oppressed? He went away. came on board of our vessel. and bought some fowls and pigs of me. or his order. or other slave. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. after toiling all the day for an unfeeling owner. or only of bloody-mindedness. or any other crime or misdemeanor towards his said master. but if any man shall out of wantonness. steal sometimes a few moments from rest or refreshment to gather some small portion of grass. worth six pence. under punishment by his master. I therefore expected. the captive. and a whole day after his departure with the things he returned again and wanted his money back: I refused to give it. swearing. and threatened that whenever he caught me on shore he would shoot me. but the following is frequent in all the islands. or cruel intention. who gives them but little victuals. according as their time will admit. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. the bruised. The wretched field-slaves. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The small account in which the life of a negro is held in the West Indies is so universally known. unfortunately shall suffer in life or member.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and not only so. if some people had not been hardy enough of late to assert that negroes are on the same footing in that respect as Europeans. that he would be as good as his word: and he was just proceeding to strike me. of the Assembly of Barbadoes.
gives an account of a French planter of his acquaintance. Or GustavusVassa. This man used to tell me many melancholy tales of himself. Tobin these were all the produce of his own loins! And I myself have known similar instances. how is the iniquity of it heightened when we consider to whom it may be extended! Mr. And it is the same in most. of the West India islands. what me must do? I can't go to any body to be righted. in the island of Martinico. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. as the act says. Generally. which for cruelty would disgrace an assembly of those who are called barbarians. after having been often thus transported from island to island. put into scales and weighed. unjust. are these sons and daughters of the French planter less his children by being begotten on a black woman? And what must be the virtue of those legislators. who. And at or after a sale it was not uncommon to see negroes taken from their wives. 69 hh-bb. though they should be murdered. who estimate the lives of their sons. and he told Mr. James Tobin. in different islands. with sighs and tears. Is not this one of the many acts of the islands which call loudly for redress? And do not the assembly which enacted it deserve the appellation of savages and brutes rather than of Christians and men? It is an act at once unmerciful. and buries all sentiments in ruin! I have often seen slaves. who shewed him many mulattoes working in the fields like beasts of burden. Shocking as this and many more acts of the bloody West India code at first view appear. When he had caught any fish. have kept their eyes fixed on the vessel till it went out of sight. if not all. and the feelings of those fathers. 'Sometimes when a white man take away my fish I go to my maser. and at other times some other white people would serve him in the same manner. at last resided in Montserrat. and wherever else their merciless lords chose. and he get me my right. when the friends of the departed have been at the water side. used to sell such by the lump. My master. Pray. All rights are reserved. and then sold from three pence to six pence or nine pence a pound. reader. then' said the poor man. a zealous labourer in the vineyard of slavery. his master would frequently take them from him without paying him. A poor Creole negro I knew well. One day he said to me. he used to employ his few leisure moments to go a fishing.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. very movingly. and for its injustice and ‘insanity’ would shock the morality and common sense of a Samaide or a Hottentot. however begotten. wives taken from their husbands. and. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. looking up above 'I must look up to God Mighty Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. ‘out of wantonness and bloody-mindedness’! But is not the slave trade entirely a war with the heart of man? And surely that which is begun by breaking down the barriers of virtue involves in its continuance destruction to every principle.com . and unwise. at no more than fifteen pounds. whose humanity was shocked at this mode. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. however. and probably never more during life to see each other! Oftentimes my heart has bled at these partings. after he had done working for his master. particularly those who were meagre. and when my maser by strength take away my fishes. and children from their parents. and sent off to other islands.
with all the presumption of human pride. Surely this traffic cannot be good. that their minds are such a barren soil or moor. might serve for a history of the whole. they might have been as generous. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. as they are unfeeling. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. rapacious and cruel. and cruelty. in my own transactions in the islands. 70 hh-bb. and gives one man a dominion over his fellows which God could never intend! For it raises the owner to a state as far above man as it depresses the slave below it. I exhorted the man to look up still to the God on the top. rapine. All rights are reserved. since there was no redress below. and compel them to live with you in a state of war. and incapable of enjoying the treasures she has poured out for him!—An assertion at once impious and absurd. and that they come from a climate. and read the same exhortation hereafter. has left man alone scant and unfinished. Why do you use those instruments of torture? Are they fit to be applied by one rational being to another? And are ye not struck with shame and mortification. had the pursuits of those men been different. that it corrupts the milk of human kindness and turns it into gall. that culture would be lost on them. And. and yet you assert that they are incapable of learning. it is the fatality of this mistaken avarice. where nature. and that even this poor man and I should some time after suffer together in the same manner. Though I little thought then that I myself should more than once experience such imposition. and I could not help feeling the just cause Moses had in redressing his brother against the Egyptian. and harden them to every feeling of humanity! For I will not suppose that the dealers in slaves are born worse than other men--No. equality and independency. sets a distinction between them. as shall be related hereafter. Such a tendency has the slave-trade to debauch men's minds. and yet you complain that they are not honest or faithful! You stupify them with stripes. or even a plantation. which spreads like a pestilence. and taints what it touches! Which violates that first natural right of mankind. and endless in duration! Yet how mistaken is the avarice even of the planters? Are slaves more useful by being thus humbled to the condition of brutes. and think it necessary to keep them in a state of ignorance. you set them in your own conduct an example of fraud. in all the different islands in which I have been (and I have visited no less than fifteen) the treatment of the slaves was nearly the same. When you make men slaves you deprive them of half their virtue. with a few such exceptions as I have mentioned. than they would be if suffered to enjoy the privileges of men? The freedom which diffuses health and prosperity throughout Britain answers you--No.com . to see the partakers of your nature reduced so low? But. though prodigal of her bounties in a degree unknown to yourselves.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. for. above all. Nor was such usage as this confined to particular places or individuals. as tender-hearted and just.' This artless tale moved me much. and. in the top for right. that the history of an island. immeasurable in extent. Or GustavusVassa. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. so nearly indeed. are there no dangers attending this mode of treatment? Are you not hourly in dread of an insurrection? Nor would it be surprising: for when Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.
but custody severe. and many others. "A black. and peace. that she caused the captain to treat me thus cruelly. "No peace is given To us enslav'd. with intent to marry a white woman his fellow-servant. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. every cause of fear would be banished. intelligent and vigorous.] [Footnote P: "The Dying Negro.] [Footnote S: Sir Philip Gibbes. a few days before had ran away from his master. hostility and hate.] [Footnote T: Benezet's Account of Guinea. by the following incident. would attend you. They would be faithful." But by changing your conduct. And stripes and arbitrary punishment Inflicted--What peace can we return? But to our power. and got himself christened. which. All rights are reserved.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Barbadoes. being taken and sent on board a ship in the Thames. Montserrat. took an opportunity of shooting himself through the head. She felt her pride alarmed at the superiority of her rival in being attended by a black servant: it was not less to prevent this than to be revenged on me. Untam'd reluctance. honest. had I once got on shore. Baronet. though slow. prosperity.] [Footnote R: Mr.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. 16." a poem originally published in 1773. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and happiness. that this elegant and pathetic little poem was occasioned. who. Dubury."] [Footnote Q: These pisterines are of the value of a shilling. 71 hh-bb. and may least rejoice In doing what we most in suffering feel. Perhaps it may not be deemed impertinent here to add. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.com . Yet ever plotting how the conqueror least May reap his conquest. Or GustavusVassa. p. and revenge. FOOTNOTES: [Footnote O: Thus was I sacrificed to the envy and resentment of this woman for knowing that the lady whom she had succeeded in my master's good graces designed to take me into her service. as appears by the advertisement prefixed to it. and treating your slaves as men. she would not have been able to prevent.
a very alert and active man. and I went once with some white and black people to visit it. and cruelty. occasioned by the steams of various little ponds. and I put them into different ponds. the catalogue would be tedious and disgusting. and they are too shocking to yield delight either to the writer or the reader. All rights are reserved. extortion. Some of these ponds were as white as milk. VI. in a little time. and the impositions he meets with in his transactions with Europeans--A curious imposition on human nature--Danger of the surfs in the West Indies--Remarkable instance of kidnapping a free mulatto--The author is nearly murdered by Doctor Perkins in Savannah. but they were very sulphurous. and all the other things of that metal we had among us. together with the different instruments with which they are tortured. CHAPTER. 72 hh-bb.com . above all. I had taken some potatoes with me. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. which hindered him Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and America. I had an opportunity of seeing many curious scenes in different islands. some quite blue. and in a few minutes they were well boiled. Some time in the year 1763 kind Providence seemed to appear rather more favourable to me. When we arrived at the top. turned as black as lead. I shall therefore hereafter only mention such as incidentally befel myself in the course of my adventures. I was struck with a celebrated curiosity called Brimstone-Hill. who gained my master a great deal of money by his good management in carrying passengers from one island to another. that it cannot any longer afford novelty to recite them. a Bermudas sloop. some few miles from the town of Plymouth in Montserrat. but. but very often his sailors used to get drunk and run away from the vessel. which is a high and steep mountain. I had often heard of some wonders that were to be seen on this hill. Or GustavusVassa. Some account of Brimstone-Hill in Montserrat--Favourable change in the author's situation--He commences merchant with three pence--His various success in dealing in the different islands. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I tasted some of them. were I to enumerate them all. about sixty tons. One of my master's vessels. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and so well known. was commanded by one Captain Thomas Farmer. The punishments of the slaves on every trifling occasion are so frequent. In the variety of departments in which I was employed by my master. were. an Englishman. and the silver shoe buckles. which were then boiling naturally in the earth. In the preceding chapter I have set before the reader a few of those many instances of oppression. I saw under different cliffs great flakes of brimstone. which I have been a witness to in the West Indies: but. and many others of different colours.
and would not go the trip. though it should be but for twenty-four hours. and asked me whether I would go aboard as a sailor. so as to hinder the vessel from coming back as soon as she might have done. made up my whole stock. I had but a very small capital to begin with. the captain had for some time a sharp eye upon me whenever the vessel anchored. Indeed he was a very pleasant gentleman. and as soon as she returned I was sent for on shore again. uncommonly well. and but for my expectations on shipboard I should not have thought of leaving him. I was very happy at this proposal. and sometimes at another. when she was in port. for if I did he would make him pay for me.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. at length I endeavoured to try my luck and commence merchant. between the vessel and the shore. for they used to behave ill in many respects. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. in his business very much.com . my master was prevailed on. Or GustavusVassa. I also became so useful to the captain on shipboard. I did all I could to deserve his favour. This being the case. I therefore. that I would go and be a sailor if he pleased. and at last. After I had been sailing for some time with this captain. but he gave great charge to him to take care that I did not run away. and tell my master I was better to him on board than any three white men he had. but he would tell him he could not spare me. or possibly make my escape if I should be used ill: I also expected to get better food. though very reluctantly. as I have observed. particularly in getting drunk. Eustatia. for I immediately thought I might in time stand some chance by being on board to get a little money. for he could not bear any longer to be plagued in this manner. that many times. and in return I received better treatment from him than any other I believe ever met with in the West Indies in my situation. as my master always wished to have me along with him. though my master treated his slaves. and then they frequently got the boat stove. and when I came to Montserrat I sold it for a bit. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Nevertheless. by the captain's constant entreaties. and many different times begged of my master to let me go a trip with him as a sailor. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. However. I bought a glass tumbler with my half bit. This my master knew very well. so that the captain and I were nearly the most useful men in my master's employment. to my great joy. to let me go with this captain. after I had been several times with him. from necessity or force. for I had felt much hunger oftentimes. my master would answer he could not spare me. and I was entirely his right-hand man. However I trusted to the Lord to be with me. This man had taken a liking to me. or stay on shore and mind the stores. Luckily we made Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. or sixpence. sometimes at one thing. at last. which is equal to three pence in England. to some of the islands near us. All rights are reserved. for one single half bit. a Dutch island. when he used to ask for me to go with him. 73 hh-bb. without hesitation. But the captain liked me also very much. Accordingly I was ordered on board directly. Thus was I slaving as it were for life. my master told me the captain would not let him rest. and in greater abundance. for sailors were generally very scarce in the island. answered him. one day. and at one of our trips to St. though the vessel sometimes could not go for want of hands. at which the captain would swear. I had little or no rest.
All rights are reserved. especially when we went to Guadaloupe. As we sailed to different islands. was upon an emergency put on board of us by his master to work as another hand. in the very minute of gaining more by three times than I ever did by any venture in my life before. 74 hh-bb. which I sold for four bits on our return to Montserrat. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and the tumblers for two. while we followed all the way begging of them to give us our fruits. as I had advised the poor fisherman some time before. without cause. and it used to turn out to very good account. about twenty leagues from Montserrat). separate in two bags. Indeed I was more than once obliged to look up to God on high. We told them these three bags were all we were worth in the world. amidst our recreations. I had also my whole stock. and ever trading as I went. several successive trips to St. Eustatia I bought two glasses with one bit. and desired us to be gone. and adjoining the fort. and threatened if we did not immediately depart they would flog us well. finding my tumbler so profitable. as they now saw we were strangers as well as slaves. while we. and at our sailing he had brought his little all for a venture. They not only refused to return them. and even took sticks to beat us. and the rest of the French islands. Thus was I going all about the islands upwards of four years. and when I came back I sold them for two bits. but they too soon let us know otherwise. which was about twelve bits' worth of the same kind of goods. Eustatia (which was a general mart for the West Indies. in some little convenient time he and I went ashore with our fruits to sell them. when I blessed the Lord that I was so rich. when we have been dancing and merry-making. and that we brought them with us to sell when we came from Montserrat. but in vain. for we had heard these fruits sold well in that island. and in our next voyage to St. We could not at first guess what they meant to do. have molested and insulted us. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. with this one bit I bought two tumblers more. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Grenada. went off in the greatest confusion and despair. When we came there. nearly about three pints in measure.com . on a voyage to Santa Cruz. and for some time we thought they were jesting with us. so that my capital now amounted in all to a dollar. Thus. they. They still therefore swore. well husbanded and acquired in the space of a month or six weeks. during which I experienced many instances of ill usage. which consisted of six bits' worth of limes and oranges in a bag. but swore at us. and in our next. I laid this money out in various things occasionally. seeing they meant what they said. But this was rather against us. equal to a shilling sterling. for they took our ventures immediately to a house hard by. and with the other three I bought a jug of Geneva. When we went again I bought with these two bits four more of these glasses. Or GustavusVassa. And I had not been long trading for myself in the manner I have related above.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. was I deprived of every Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. When we came to Montserrat I sold the gin for eight bits. when I experienced the like trial in company with him as follows: This man being used to the water. but we had scarcely landed when we were met by two white men. and have seen many injuries done to other negroes in our dealings with Europeans: and. who presently took our three bags from us. and shewed them the vessel.
stayed a little longer to plead. but we obtained not the least redress: he answered our complaints only by a volley of imprecations against us. among whom I have shuddered to observe the unceasing blasphemous execrations which are wantonly thrown out by persons of all ages and conditions. and likewise all that he was worth in the world. consented to this. were left behind. and the other two. and Providence was more favourable to us than we could have expected. but even as if they were indulgences and pleasure. when I have been plundered or used ill by these tender Christian depredators. and they. cried bitterly for his loss. with which I bought a Bible. the two books I loved above all others. An insupportable misfortune! but how to help ourselves we knew not. and the two lovers went in one boat. I was very glad to get this book. and begged and besought them again and again for our fruits. and immediately took a horse-whip. St. which belonged to my companion. he then did look up to God on high. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. went back again to the house. observing one bag to have both kinds of fruit in it. Kitt's I had eleven bits of my own. they gave us back. my companion. however. from being forced out of the Aetna in the manner I have related. The man then asked to be married on the water. I now. As soon as I got them. Kitt's. and got the first negro man I could to help me off. indeed. We. seeing no remedy whatever. All rights are reserved. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. my Bible. The poor old man. and get me my right. Or GustavusVassa. and. in the agony of distress and indignation. I ran as fast as I could.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. farthing I was worth. I got for mine about thirty-seven bits. Still however we persevered. wished that the ire of God in his forked lightning might transfix these cruel oppressors among the dead. to which the parson consented. While I was in this place. much to my grief. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. in order to chastise us. for we sold our fruits uncommonly well. and he was obliged to return without it. which I scarcely could meet with any where. I think there was none sold in Montserrat. he told them the bag they had was his. My captain afterwards frequently used to take my part. not only without occasion. and. In our consternation we went to the commanding officer of the fort and told him how we had been served by some of his people. We then proceeded to the markets to sell them. kept that. a very curious imposition on human nature took place:--A white man wanted to marry in the church a free black woman that had land and slaves in Montserrat: but the clergyman told him it was against the law of the place to marry a white and a black in the church. and my friendly captain lent me five bits more. Such a surprising reverse of fortune in so short a space of time seemed like a dream to me. and the parson and clerk in another. but this was of no avail. 75 hh-bb. which so moved me with pity for him. so that we were obliged to turn out much faster than we came in. which were mine. and the Guide to the Indians. and proved no small encouragement for me to trust the Lord in any situation. and thus the ceremony Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. At one of our trips to St. that I gave him nearly one third of my fruits.com . wringing his hands. till at last some other people that were in the house asked if we would be contented if they kept one bag and gave us the other two.
and brought them safe to Montserrat. My mind was therefore hourly replete with inventions and thoughts of being freed. if possible. and launch it into the water again. filled with the thoughts of freedom. every part of the world I had hitherto been in seemed to me a paradise in comparison of the West Indies. and drove the boat and all in it about half a stone's throw. the punt was overset with us four times. In process of time I became master of a few pounds. and I was ever exposed to their howling rage and devouring fury in all the islands. he always became mild on my threats. I gained him credit. although I should at present see no means or hope to obtain my freedom. The reader cannot but judge of the irksomeness of this situation to a mind like mine. added to which. and resisting oppression as well as I was able. however the jacket I had Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. We were obliged to get all the assistance we could from the nearest estate to mend the boat. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 76 hh-bb. and. In the midst of these thoughts I therefore looked up with prayers anxiously to God for my liberty. among some trees. was performed. that honesty is the best policy. when I and about eight others were pulling a large boat with two puncheons of water in it. and my captain treated them extremely well. for I always remembered the old adage. After this the loving pair came on board our vessel. my life hung daily in suspense. in pressing hard to get off the shore on board. and in a fair way of making more. and endeavoured all that was possible on my part to obtain it. if ever it were my lot to be freed nothing could prevent me. However.com . The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. from my great attention to his orders and his business. and that I would die before I would be imposed on as other negroes were. and I trust it has ever been my ruling principle. and likewise that other golden precept--to do unto all men as I would they should do unto me. as he could not bear the thoughts of my not sailing with him. particularly in the surfs I have formerly mentioned. the first time I was very near being drowned. These are extremely violent throughout the West Indies. on the other hand. and all my endeavours for that purpose would be fruitless. I therefore continued with him. and. a surf struck us. I have seen them strike and toss a boat right up an end. Or GustavusVassa. if it were my fate not to be freed I never should be so. This I said although I foresaw my then well-being or future hopes of freedom (humanly speaking) depended on this man. I thought whatever fate had determined must ever come to pass. and above the high water mark. While I thus went on.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and therefore. in being daily exposed to new hardships and impositions. and through his kindness to me I at last procured my liberty. At Montserrat one night. Once in the Grenada islands. by honest and honourable means. and that to me life had lost its relish when liberty was gone. this occasioned him sometimes to take liberties with me: but whenever he treated me waspishly I used plainly to tell him my mind. as I was from early years a predestinarian. and at the same time I used every honest means. All rights are reserved. after having seen many better days. and maim several on board. which my friendly captain knew very well. and having been as it were in a state of freedom and plenty. as I could not swim. However.
but. and other people on board. 77 hh-bb. and probably doomed never more in this world to see them again. whom I have known in America. and no one had ever claimed him as their property: however. and seeing the mulatto-man. all knew this young man from a child that he was always free. All rights are reserved. and then he went and brought the punt also. and some of us even a stone's throw from each other: most of us were very much bruised. The poor man could not believe the captain to be in earnest. and always passed for a free man. Nor was this the only instance of this kind of barbarity I was a witness to. instead of that. and told him I could not swim. that there was not such another place under the heavens as this. were going in a large canoe in quest of rum and sugar.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. whose name was Joseph Clipson. Or GustavusVassa. as might too often overcomes right in these parts. While we lay in this place a very cruel thing happened on board of our sloop which filled me with horror. I have heard of two similar practices even in Philadelphia: and were it not for the benevolence of the Quakers in that city many of the sable race. but at last. just as I was sinking. we gained our point. and she was then living on shore. and all very happy. I longed therefore much to leave it. by whom he had a child. when a single surf tossed the canoe an amazing distance from the water. I believe. the fifth time we attempted. but he was very soon undeceived. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and really thought. he was carried away. and three men besides myself. at the imminent hazard of our lives. he caught hold of me. his men laying violent hands on him: and although he shewed a certificate of his being born free in St. he told him he was not free. and. and daily wished to see my master's promise performed of going to Philadelphia. and most people on board knew that he served his time to boat building. There was a very clever and decent free young mulatto-man who sailed a long time with us: he had a free woman for his wife. even the natives of Bermudas. and several elsewhere. yet he was taken forcibly out of our vessel. He then asked to be carried ashore before the secretary or magistrates. Kitt's.com . so that I and many more often said. he then made haste to me. our captain. we attempted again three times more. at Old Road in Montserrat. or suffering him even to see his wife or child. who now breathe the air of liberty. would. on kept me up above water a little space of time. came on board of us. and as often the horrid surfs served us as at first. be groaning indeed under some planter's chains. thus villainously trepanned and held in bondage. it happened that a Bermudas captain. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. As soon as we had turned the water out of her. and that he had orders from his master to bring him to Bermudas. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. though I found afterwards such practices were frequent. they carried him on board of the other vessel: and the next day. while I called on a man near me who was a good swimmer. lest we should be used ill for being absent. and brought me to sounding. Our captain and mate. and these infernal invaders of human rights promised him he should. One day also. whose vessel lay there for a few days in the road. I have since often seen in Jamaica and other islands free men. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. without giving the poor man any hearing on shore.
that no free negro's evidence will be admitted in their courts of justice. 78 hh-bb. However. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as the fleet was to sail the next day.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. but the state of a free negro appeared to me now equally so at least. if I would go: and. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Had I wished to run away I did not want opportunities. left our vessel on this account.com . and in some respects even worse. I had intended to have gone for England. for they are universally insulted and plundered without the possibility of redress. though when the captain. he rebuked him. and to return to Old England. I therefore employed the mate of our vessel to teach me navigation. "With thoughts like these my anxious boding mind Recall'd those pleasing scenes I left behind. I would not attempt to leave him. as my master was kind. When we were at the island of Gaurdeloupe there was a large fleet of merchantmen bound for Old France. seamen then being very scarce. if I understood navigation. my progress in this useful art was much retarded by the constancy of our work. some time after. when mildly treated. For this purpose I thought a knowledge of navigation might be of use to me." I determined to make every exertion to obtain my freedom. that 'honesty is the best policy. All rights are reserved. for they regarded me. for. for such is the equity of the West Indian laws. However. as I said. and particularly at one time. came to know that the mate was to have such a sum for teaching me. I might attempt my escape in our sloop. which was one of the swiftest sailing vessels in the West Indies. and said it was a shame for him to take any money from me. and went on board of the French ships. In this situation is it surprising that slaves. can Protect the wretch who makes a slave of man. and. and all the white sailors. and even this is but nominal. or station. for they live in constant alarm for their liberty. and e'en illumines day. but this. I really believe I could have got safe to Europe at that time. was only to be in the event of my meeting with any ill usage. These things opened my mind to a new scene of horror to which I had been before a stranger. which frequently presented themselves. Scenes where fair Liberty in bright array Makes darkness bright. Where nor complexion. and thought I never should be entirely free until I had left them. soon after this. and they swore to protect me.' I suffered them to Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and. in such a case. Our mate. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and I could be at no loss for hands to join me: and if I should make this attempt. Or GustavusVassa. should prefer even the misery of slavery to such a mockery of freedom? I was now completely disgusted with the West Indies. and actually paid him part of the money down. they gave from fifteen to twenty pounds a man for the run. though I did not intend to run away unless I should be ill used. wealth. for which I agreed to give him twenty-four dollars. Hitherto I had thought only slavery dreadful. They would have had me also to go with them. remembering the old maxim. yet.
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go without me. Indeed my captain was much afraid of my leaving him and the vessel at that time, as I had so fair an opportunity: but, I thank God, this fidelity of mine turned out much to my advantage hereafter, when I did not in the least think of it; and made me so much in favour with the captain, that he used now and then to teach me some parts of navigation himself: but some of our passengers, and others, seeing this, found much fault with him for it, saying it was a very dangerous thing to let a negro know navigation; thus I was hindered again in my pursuits. About the latter end of the year 1764 my master bought a larger sloop, called the Providence, about seventy or eighty tons, of which my captain had the command. I went with him into this vessel, and we took a load of new slaves for Georgia and Charles Town. My master now left me entirely to the captain, though he still wished for me to be with him; but I, who always much wished to lose sight of the West Indies, was not a little rejoiced at the thoughts of seeing any other country. Therefore, relying on the goodness of my captain, I got ready all the little venture I could; and, when the vessel was ready, we sailed, to my great joy. When we got to our destined places, Georgia and Charles Town, I expected I should have an opportunity of selling my little property to advantage: but here, particularly in Charles Town, I met with buyers, white men, who imposed on me as in other places. Notwithstanding, I was resolved to have fortitude; thinking no lot or trial is too hard when kind Heaven is the rewarder. We soon got loaded again, and returned to Montserrat; and there, amongst the rest of the islands, I sold my goods well; and in this manner I continued trading during the year 1764; meeting with various scenes of imposition, as usual. After this, my master fitted out his vessel for Philadelphia, in the year 1765; and during the time we were loading her, and getting ready for the voyage, I worked with redoubled alacrity, from the hope of getting money enough by these voyages to buy my freedom in time, if it should please God; and also to see the town of Philadelphia, which I had heard a great deal about for some years past; besides which, I had always longed to prove my master's promise the first day I came to him. In the midst of these elevated ideas, and while I was about getting my little merchandize in readiness, one Sunday my master sent for me to his house. When I came there I found him and the captain together; and, on my going in, I was struck with astonishment at his telling me he heard that I meant to run away from him when I got to Philadelphia: 'And therefore,' said he, 'I must sell you again: you cost me a great deal of money, no less than forty pounds sterling; and it will not do to lose so much. You are a valuable fellow,' continued he; 'and I can get any day for you one hundred guineas, from many gentlemen in this island.' And then he told me of Captain Doran's brother-in-law, a severe master, who ever wanted to buy me to make me his overseer. My captain also said he could get much more than a hundred guineas for me in Carolina.
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This I knew to be a fact; for the gentleman that wanted to buy me came off several times on board of us, and spoke to me to live with him, and said he would use me well. When I asked what work he would put me to he said, as I was a sailor, he would make me a captain of one of his rice vessels. But I refused: and fearing, at the same time, by a sudden turn I saw in the captain's temper, he might mean to sell me, I told the gentleman I would not live with him on any condition, and that I certainly would run away with his vessel: but he said he did not fear that, as he would catch me again; and then he told me how cruelly he would serve me if I should do so. My captain, however, gave him to understand that I knew something of navigation: so he thought better of it; and, to my great joy, he went away. I now told my master I did not say I would run away in Philadelphia; neither did I mean it, as he did not use me ill, nor yet the captain: for if they did I certainly would have made some attempts before now; but as I thought that if it were God's will I ever should be freed it would be so, and, on the contrary, if it was not his will it would not happen; so I hoped, if ever I were freed, whilst I was used well, it should be by honest means; but, as I could not help myself, he must do as he pleased; I could only hope and trust to the God of Heaven; and at that instant my mind was big with inventions and full of schemes to escape. I then appealed to the captain whether he ever saw any sign of my making the least attempt to run away; and asked him if I did not always come on board according to the time for which he gave me liberty; and, more particularly, when all our men left us at Gaurdeloupe and went on board of the French fleet, and advised me to go with them, whether I might not, and that he could not have got me again. To my no small surprise, and very great joy, the captain confirmed every syllable that I had said: and even more; for he said he had tried different times to see if I would make any attempt of this kind, both at St. Eustatia and in America, and he never found that I made the smallest; but, on the contrary, I always came on board according to his orders; and he did really believe, if I ever meant to run away, that, as I could never have had a better opportunity, I would have done it the night the mate and all the people left our vessel at Gaurdeloupe. The captain then informed my master, who had been thus imposed on by our mate, though I did not know who was my enemy, the reason the mate had for imposing this lie upon him; which was, because I had acquainted the captain of the provisions the mate had given away or taken out of the vessel. This speech of the captain was like life to the dead to me, and instantly my soul glorified God; and still more so on hearing my master immediately say that I was a sensible fellow, and he never did intend to use me as a common slave; and that but for the entreaties of the captain, and his character of me, he would not have let me go from the stores about as I had done; that also, in so doing, he thought by carrying one little thing or other to different places to sell I might make money.
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That he also intended to encourage me in this by crediting me with half a puncheon of rum and half a hogshead of sugar at a time; so that, from being careful, I might have money enough, in some time, to purchase my freedom; and, when that was the case, I might depend upon it he would let me have it for forty pounds sterling money, which was only the same price he gave for me. This sound gladdened my poor heart beyond measure; though indeed it was no more than the very idea I had formed in my mind of my master long before, and I immediately made him this reply: 'Sir, I always had that very thought of you, indeed I had, and that made me so diligent in serving you.' He then gave me a large piece of silver coin, such as I never had seen or had before, and told me to get ready for the voyage, and he would credit me with a tierce of sugar, and another of rum; he also said that he had two amiable sisters in Philadelphia, from whom I might get some necessary things. Upon this my noble captain desired me to go aboard; and, knowing the African metal, he charged me not to say any thing of this matter to any body; and he promised that the lying mate should not go with him any more. This was a change indeed; in the same hour to feel the most exquisite pain, and in the turn of a moment the fullest joy. It caused in me such sensations as I was only able to express in my looks; my heart was so overpowered with gratitude that I could have kissed both of their feet. When I left the room I immediately went, or rather flew, to the vessel, which being loaded, my master, as good as his word, trusted me with a tierce of rum, and another of sugar, when we sailed, and arrived safe at the elegant town of Philadelphia. I soon sold my goods here pretty well; and in this charming place I found every thing plentiful and cheap. While I was in this place a very extraordinary occurrence befell me. I had been told one evening of a ‘wise’ woman, a Mrs. Davis, who revealed secrets, foretold events, &c. I put little faith in this story at first, as I could not conceive that any mortal could foresee the future disposals of Providence, nor did I believe in any other revelation than that of the Holy Scriptures; however, I was greatly astonished at seeing this woman in a dream that night, though a person I never before beheld in my life; this made such an impression on me, that I could not get the idea the next day out of my mind, and I then became as anxious to see her as I was before indifferent; accordingly in the evening, after we left off working, I inquired where she lived, and being directed to her, to my inexpressible surprise, beheld the very woman in the very same dress she appeared to me to wear in the vision. She immediately told me I had dreamed of her the preceding night; related to me many things that had happened with a correctness that astonished me; and finally told me I should not be long a slave: this was the more agreeable news, as I believed it the more readily from her having so faithfully related the past
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incidents of my life. from having an eminent doctor to attend me. and I had got ashore.--Alas! how prone is the heart to leave that God it wishes to love! and how strongly do the things of this world strike the senses and captivate the soul!—After our vessel was discharged. that I would be good if ever I should recover. and I made a promise in my mind to God. eternity was now exceedingly impressed on my mind. After staying here some time till our vessel was loaded. Or GustavusVassa. so. At length. I could not oblige him to pay me. I was very ill for eleven days and near dying. While we were there I saw the town illuminated. if I escaped. and though. Eustatia. where we discharged our cargo. having landed part of our cargo. When we were safe arrived at Montserrat. the guns were fired. the white men buying them with smooth promises and fair words. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and other negroes. as if the very air of that country or climate seemed fatal to piety. and bonfires and other demonstrations of joy shewn. I was obliged to hire some black men to help to pull a boat across the water to God in quest of this gentleman. on account of the repeal of the stamp act. which gave me a great deal of trouble. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and perform my promise to God. and soon after that we took slaves on board for St. and from thus over-working myself while we were at Georgia I caught a fever and ague. and. which. We arrived at Georgia. and soon after we got the vessel loaded. giving me her blessing. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and I feared very much that awful event. and. There was one gentleman particularly who bought a puncheon of rum of me. All rights are reserved. 82 hh-bb. I had always exerted myself and did double work. in order to make our voyages as short as possible. and I lost some time in seeking after this Christian. and had much business of the vessel to mind. We arrived safe at Montserrat. once more to encounter the raging surfs. being a negro man. and took in. we sailed from this agreeable spot for Montserrat. as I was perfectly restored. as usual. I could not obtain any thing for it. and I had bought in my little traffic. as we drew nearer and nearer to the islands. and from thence to Georgia. I should afterwards go on well. began to fail. giving me however but very indifferent payment. my resolutions more and more declined. This vexed me much. we soon got her ready. some of the poor oppressed natives of Africa.com . although I used the interest of my friendly captain. She said I should be twice in very great danger of my life within eighteen months. Here I disposed of some goods on my own account. we parted. I was restored again to health. I forgot my former resolutions. not knowing how to act. when the Sabbath came (which the negroes usually make their holiday) I was much inclined to go to public worship. and set off for Montserrat. proceeded to Charlestown with the remainder. we then set off again for Georgia and Charlestown. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I prayed the Lord therefore to spare me. During the passage. and. for. all my endeavours to keep up my integrity. in spite of all I could do.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.
and obliged me to put up with those or none. through his attention and that of the doctor. he could not forbear weeping. I ran off. We soon came to Georgia. swearing he would be revenged of him. who lodged hard by him. who at first declared it as their opinion that I could not recover. and. having found where I was. I got on board as fast as I could. Immediately after. All this time I was very much wanted on board. by the skilfulness of one Doctor Brady of that place. and immediately sent for the best doctors in the place. which I thanked God we did not long after.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. he at last paid me in dollars. though I gave a good account of myself. able to get out of bed in about sixteen or eighteen days. but they told him they could do nothing for me as I was a negro. he soon got me out of jail to his lodgings. and. yet I was in more pain on account of the captain's uneasiness about me than I otherwise should have been. All rights are reserved. as I was with some negroes in their master's yard in the town of Savannah. it happened that their master. it was to no purpose. however. my captain. he made inquiry after me. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and was so benumbed that I could not feel any thing for many hours. I lost so much blood from the wounds I received. but. after much entreaty. immediately came to me. The worthy man nursed and watched me all the hours of the night. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. although I was so sore and bad with the wounds I had all over me that I could not rest in any posture. and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. leaving me near dead. and being uneasy that I did not then make my appearance. but still continued in fear of them until we sailed. as I was trying to pass them in the market. My captain on this went to all the lawyers in the town for their advice. as I used frequently to go up and down the river for rafts. and I have never been amongst them since. and challenged him to fight. Or GustavusVassa. and both of them struck me with the first weapons they could get hold of. and of consequence of no value. that I lay quite motionless. and other parts of our cargo. and here worse fate than ever attended me: for one Sunday night. one Doctor Perkins. As soon as the good man saw me so cut and mangled. I was within one minute of being tied up and flogged without either judge or jury. by the help of a good pair of heels. As I did not return to the ship all night. They beat and mangled me in a shameful manner. 83 hh-bb. some of them. amongst other white men. the hero who had vanquished me. not knowing where I was.--But cowardice is ever the companion of cruelty--and the Doctor refused. and I was. who was a very severe and cruel man. both from myself and my worthy captain. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. However. were copper. When I found him. not liking to see any strange negroes in his yard. though I shewed them the man I got them from. although I objected to them. however. and so escaped the bastinadoes I should have received. He then went to Doctor Perkins. I cried out as long as I could for help and mercy. and. but. but he took advantage of my being a negro man. where we were to complete our lading. I began at last to amend.com . came in drunk. and menaced him. and he knew my captain. I was abused for offering to pass bad coin. Early in the morning they took me away to the jail. he and a ruffian of a white man he had in his service beset me in an instant.
In about four weeks I was able to go on duty. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted.com .The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. This ended my adventures in 1764. All rights are reserved. and in less than three weeks we arrived there safe towards the end of the year. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. END OF THE FIRST VOLUME. stow them when the mate was sick or absent. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. having got in all our lading. our vessel set sail for Montserrat. Or GustavusVassa. for I did not leave Montserrat again till the beginning of the following year. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. 84 hh-bb. and in a fortnight after.
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They ran the ship aground: and the fore part stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. Acts xxvii. 41. Howbeit, we must be cast upon a certain island; Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Acts xxvii. 26, 25. Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men. Job iv. 12, 13. Lo, all these ‘things’ worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. Job xxxiii. 29, 30.
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VOLUME II CHAPTER. VII.
‘The author's disgust at the West Indies--Forms schemes to obtain his freedom--Ludicrous disappointment he and his Captain meet with in Georgia--At last, by several successful voyages, he acquires a sum of money sufficient to purchase it--Applies to his master, who accepts it, and grants his manumission, to his great joy--He afterwards enters as a freeman on board one of Mr. King's ships, and sails for Georgia--Impositions on free negroes as usual--His venture of turkies--Sails for Montserrat, and on his passage his friend, the Captain, falls ill and dies.’ Every day now brought me nearer my freedom, and I was impatient till we proceeded again to sea, that I might have an opportunity of getting a sum large enough to purchase it. I was not long ungratified; for, in the beginning of the year 1766, my master bought another sloop, named the Nancy, the largest I had ever seen. She was partly laden, and was to proceed to Philadelphia; our Captain had his choice of three, and I was well pleased he chose this, which was the largest; for, from his having a large vessel, I had more room, and could carry a larger quantity of goods with me. Accordingly, when we had delivered our old vessel, the Prudence, and completed the lading of the Nancy, having made near three hundred per cent, by four barrels of pork I brought from Charlestown, I laid in as large a cargo as I could, trusting to God's providence to prosper my undertaking. With these views I sailed for Philadelphia. On our passage, when we drew near the land, I was for the first time surprised at the sight of some whales, having never seen any such large sea monsters before; and as we sailed by the land one morning I saw a puppy whale close by the vessel; it was about the length of a wherry boat, and it followed us all the day till we got within the Capes. We arrived safe and in good time at Philadelphia, and I sold my goods there chiefly to the Quakers. They always appeared to be a very honest discreet sort of people, and never attempted to impose on me; I therefore liked them, and ever after chose to deal with them in preference to any others. One Sunday morning while I was here, as I was going to church, I chanced to pass a meeting-house. The doors being open, and the house full of people, it excited my curiosity to go in. When I entered the house, to my great surprise, I
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saw a very tall woman standing in the midst of them, speaking in an audible voice something which I could not understand. Having never seen anything of this kind before, I stood and stared about me for some time, wondering at this odd scene. As soon as it was over I took an opportunity to make inquiry about the place and people, when I was informed they were called Quakers. I particularly asked what that woman I saw in the midst of them had said, but none of them were pleased to satisfy me; so I quitted them, and soon after, as I was returning, I came to a church crowded with people; the church-yard was full likewise, and a number of people were even mounted on ladders, looking in at the windows. I thought this a strange sight, as I had never seen churches, either in England or the West Indies, crowded in this manner before. I therefore made bold to ask some people the meaning of all this, and they told me the Rev. Mr. George Whitfield was preaching. I had often heard of this gentleman, and had wished to see and hear him; but I had never before had an opportunity. I now therefore resolved to gratify myself with the sight, and I pressed in amidst the multitude. When I got into the church I saw this pious man exhorting the people with the greatest fervour and earnestness, and sweating as much as I ever did while in slavery on Montserrat beach. I was very much struck and impressed with this; I thought it strange I had never seen divines exert themselves in this manner before, and I was no longer at a loss to account for the thin congregations they preached to. When we had discharged our cargo here, and were loaded again, we left this fruitful land once more, and set sail for Montserrat. My traffic had hitherto succeeded so well with me, that I thought, by selling my goods when we arrived at Montserrat, I should have enough to purchase my freedom. But, as soon as our vessel arrived there, my master came on board, and gave orders for us to go to St. Eustatia, and discharge our cargo there, and from thence proceed for Georgia. I was much disappointed at this; but thinking, as usual, it was of no use to encounter with the decrees of fate, I submitted without repining, and we went to St. Eustatia. After we had discharged our cargo there we took in a live cargo, as we call a cargo of slaves. Here I sold my goods tolerably well; but, not being able to lay out all my money in this small island to as much advantage as in many other places, I laid out only part, and the remainder I brought away with me neat. We sailed from hence for Georgia, and I was glad when we got there, though I had not much reason to like the place from my last adventure in Savannah; but I longed to get back to Montserrat and procure my freedom, which I expected to be able to purchase when I returned. As soon as we arrived here I waited on my careful doctor, Mr. Brady, to whom I made the most grateful acknowledgments in my power for his former kindness and attention during my illness. While we were here an odd circumstance happened to the Captain and me, which disappointed us both a good deal. A silversmith, whom we had brought to this place some voyages before, agreed with the Captain to return with us to the West Indies, and
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promised at the same time to give the Captain a great deal of money, having pretended to take a liking to him, and being, as we thought, very rich. But while we stayed to load our vessel this man was taken ill in a house where he worked, and in a week's time became very bad. The worse he grew the more he used to speak of giving the Captain what he had promised him, so that he expected something considerable from the death of this man, who had no wife or child, and he attended him day and night. I used also to go with the Captain, at his own desire, to attend him; especially when we saw there was no appearance of his recovery: and, in order to recompense me for my trouble, the Captain promised me ten pounds, when he should get the man's property. I thought this would be of great service to me, although I had nearly money enough to purchase my freedom, if I should get safe this voyage to Montserrat. In this expectation I laid out above eight pounds of my money for a suit of superfine clothes to dance with at my freedom, which I hoped was then at hand. We still continued to attend this man, and were with him even on the last day he lived, till very late at night, when we went on board. After we were got to bed, about one or two o'clock in the morning, the Captain was sent for, and informed the man was dead. On this he came to my bed, and, waking me, informed me of it, and desired me to get up and procure a light, and immediately go to him. I told him I was very sleepy, and wished he would take somebody else with him; or else, as the man was dead, and could want no farther attendance, to let all things remain as they were till the next morning. 'No, no,' said he, 'we will have the money to-night, I cannot wait till to-morrow; so let us go.' Accordingly I got up and struck a light, and away we both went and saw the man as dead as we could wish. The Captain said he would give him a grand burial, in gratitude for the promised treasure; and desired that all the things belonging to the deceased might be brought forth. Among others, there was a nest of trunks of which he had kept the keys whilst the man was ill, and when they were produced we opened them with no small eagerness and expectation; and as there were a great number within one another, with much impatience we took them one out of the other. At last, when we came to the smallest, and had opened it, we saw it was full of papers, which we supposed to be notes; at the sight of which our hearts leapt for joy; and that instant the Captain, clapping his hands, cried out, 'Thank God, here it is.' But when we took up the trunk, and began to examine the supposed treasure and long-looked-for bounty, (alas! alas! how uncertain and deceitful are all human affairs!) what had we found! While we thought we were embracing a substance we grasped an emptynothing. The whole amount that was in the nest of trunks was only one dollar and a half; and all that the man possessed would not pay for his coffin. Our sudden and exquisite joy was now succeeded by a sudden and exquisite pain; and my Captain and I exhibited, for some time, most ridiculous figures--pictures of chagrin and disappointment! We went away greatly
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and with my money in my hand. and I most reverently bowed myself with gratitude. Robert. very honestly. he began to recoil: and my heart that instant sunk within me. I prayed him to be as good as his offer to me. and here is now the principal at last. Robert. As soon as the first transports of my joy were over. and I now saw them. and left the deceased to do as well as he could for himself. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. in whom I trusted. and arrived there safe. All rights are reserved. you have received good interest for it all this time. 'Come.' I answered.' My master then said. (which was his name) I think you must let him have his freedom. I rose with a heart full of affection and reverence. fulfilled and verified.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. in order to obey my master's joyful mandate of going to the Register Office. congratulated us both with a peculiar degree of heartfelt pleasure. on that morning I went. We set sail once more for Montserrat. as we had taken so good care of him when alive for nothing. 'Come. I consulted my true friend. the Captain. finding myself master of about forty-seven pounds.' said he. 'What. come. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but much out of humour with our friend the silversmith. as he will not leave you:-Come. and many fears in my heart. 'give you your freedom? Why. As I was leaving the house I called to mind the words of the Psalmist. and like him. Or GustavusVassa. clapping my master on the back. take the money. sir. This speech seemed to confound him. and get my manumission drawn up. and. Accordingly. mortified. when he was pleased to promise me my freedom as soon as I could purchase it. 89 hh-bb. as I thought. while my true and worthy friend. but by the overflowing of my eyes. and met the Captain there. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I told him. where did you get the money? Have you got forty pounds sterling?' 'Yes.' These words had been impressed on my mind from the very day I was forced from Deptford to the present hour. The Captain then said he knew I got the money very honestly and with much industry. how I should proceed in offering my master the money for my freedom. when he and my master would be at breakfast together. These words of my master were like a voice from heaven to me: in an instant all my trepidation was turned into unutterable bliss. as he had appointed. told me to go to the Secretary at the Register Office. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I got money much faster than he did. taking the money.' said my worthy Captain. and that I had expressed my thanks to these my worthy friends in the best manner I was able. and I had sold my venture. in the 126th Psalm. he would not be worse than his promise. On which my master replied. the Captain. I know Gustavus has earned you more than an hundred a-year. and said he would not have made me the promise he did if he had thought I should have got money so soon. He told me to come on a certain morning. and he will still save you money. 'I glorified God in my heart. When I went in I made my obeisance to my master. you have laid your money out very well. When we had unladen the vessel. unable to express my feelings. and that I was particularly careful. 'How did you get it?' replied he. and left the room.com .
and. named Gustavus Vassa. and completely free. send greeting: Know ye. and releasing unto him. of the parish of St. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. after she had been ravished from his arms!--All within my breast was tumult. as lord and master over the aforesaid Gustavus Vassa. * * * * * As the form of my manumission has something peculiar in it. or now I have. Accordingly he signed the manumission that day. When I got to the office and acquainted the Register with my errand he congratulated me on the occasion. that I might be fully released. I who had been a slave in the morning. emancipated. I thanked him for his kindness. and set free. that I the aforesaid Robert King. named Gustavus Vassa. have manumitted. to whom my heart had ever been attached with reverence. dominion.--To all men unto whom these presents shall come: I Robert King. which was a guinea. and property. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. title. in this respect. as he rose to Heaven. hereby giving. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. for ever. all right. I had. Or GustavusVassa. like Elijah. 90 hh-bb. was become my own master. and blazed about the virtue of my amiable master and captain. before night. My imagination was all rapture as I flew to the Register Office. wildness. enfranchise. the said Gustavus Vassa. having received it and paid him. the aforesaid negro man-slave. for and in consideration of the sum of seventy pounds current money of the said island. shall and may become free. I hastened to my master to get him to sign it.com . for they were winged with joy. and expresses the absolute power and dominion one man claims over his fellow. and presses it to her heart--Not the weary hungry mariner. enfranchised. Anthony in the said island. and by these presents do manumit. or by Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. to me in hand paid. merchant. and. and my joy was still heightened by the blessings and prayers of the sable race. and to the intent that a negro man-slave. in the midst of a triumph--Not the tender mother who has just regained her long-lost infant. like the apostle Peter. they 'were with lightning sped as I went on. I thought this was the happiest day I had ever experienced. at the sight of the desired friendly port--Not the lover. granting. trembling at the will of another.' Every one I met I told of my happiness. that he thought he was in a vision) I could scarcely believe I was awake. emancipate. and. I shall beg leave to present it before my readers at full length: ‘Montserrat’. particularly the aged. sovereignty. and set free. and delirium! My feet scarcely touched the ground. Heavens! who could do justice to my feelings at this moment! Not conquering heroes themselves. when he once more embraces his beloved mistress. which.[U] (whose deliverance from prison was so sudden and extraordinary. and told me he would draw up my manumission for half price. so that.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. All rights are reserved.
Registered the within manumission at full length. notwithstanding my wish to be in London. and surprise my old master. in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six. Signed. I would see Old England once more. which was Freeman. in liber D. this eleventh day of July. With these kind of reveries I used often to entertain myself. any means whatsoever I may or can hereafter possibly have over him the aforesaid negro. to me the most desirable in the world. this tenth day of July. 91 hh-bb. my late master. * * * * * In short. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and delivered in the presence of Terrylegay. In this state of serenity we sailed for St. Capt. besides what perquisites I could make. said to me.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. instead of being.' Here gratitude bowed me down. who was hourly in my mind. Eustatia. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. entirely to please these my honoured patrons. Register. I obediently answered my benefactors that I would go in the vessel. In witness whereof I the abovesaid Robert King have unto these presents set my hand and seal. and now. Some of the sable females. Robert King. sealed. So that my worthy captain and his owner. as he might perhaps suppose. My intention was to make a voyage or two. at thirty-six shillings per month. where I hoped to be ere long. struggling between inclination and duty. 'We hope you won't leave us. Or GustavusVassa. for I still loved him. Montserrat. and from that day I was entered on board as an able-bodied sailor. who formerly stood aloof. Pascal. and I pleased myself with thinking of what he would say when he saw what the Lord had done for me in so short a time. notwithstanding his usage of me. having smooth seas and calm Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. finding that the bent of my mind was towards London. for ever. I embarked on board the Nancy. after having got all things ready for our voyage. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. the fair as well as black people immediately styled me by a new appellation. Terrylegay. being as in my original free African state. and none but the generous mind can judge of my feelings.com . but I determined that the year following. if it pleased God. and at the dances I gave my Georgia superfine blue clothes made no indifferent appearance. now began to relax and appear less coy. and not leave them. and shorten the time till my return. All rights are reserved. 1766. However. as I thought. but my heart was still fixed on London. but that you will still be with the vessels. under the cruel yoke of some planter. and.
Or GustavusVassa. who. for asking a gentleman that he worked for for the money he had earned. but he said that it did not signify. I was astonished and frightened at this. The captain and others. I told him he had insulted me. and my blood drawn like a slave. and for a little I determined to resist the first man that should offer to lay violent hands on me. he said he knew nothing of the matter. without judge or jury. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and even struck me. and have been very much frightened at them. and wished him to have gone along with me to Mr. as usual. I had told my captain also the whole affair that morning. When he was gone. I was therefore much embarrassed. The next morning his master came to our vessel as we lay alongside the wharf. a carpenter. for they said Mr. than suffer myself to be scourged by the hands of ruffians. we proceeded to Savannah in Georgia. by first striking me. persevered in his insults. as I never in my life had the marks of any violence of that kind. and desired me to come ashore that he might have me flogged all round the town. or basely use me without a trial. but the fellow. we soon arrived there: after taking our cargo on board. and run away with his slaves. and I fell on him and beat him soundly. and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. weather. the thoughts of being striped. At that instant a rage seized my soul. with all the patience I was master of. more cautious. Read. came near our vessel. There was a free black man. and if Mr. for beating his negro slave.com . Read came. was put into gaol. Read. Read applied to him to deliver me up. as well by the many instances I had seen of the treatment of free negroes. I thought his threat might prove too true to my sorrow. Read was a very spiteful man. for he would have me out of the vessel. as from a fact that had happened within my own knowledge here a short time before. and I was confirmed in this belief. Read said any thing he would make matters up. and had given the provocation. 1766. of an intention to set the gentleman's house on fire. to prevent bad consequences. for I would sooner die like a free man. and very apprehensive of a flogging at least. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and began to use me very ill. which were very numerous on that coast. I have seen a young one sold in Georgia alive for six pence. The Captain being on board when Mr. and Mr. and on this business I have been frequently beset by alligators. advised me to make haste and conceal myself. and thought I had better keep where I was than go ashore and be flogged round the town. which I accordingly did. and when Mr. a merchant of Savannah. All rights are reserved. to desist. During our stay at this place. that I knew. he told him I was a free man. of all things.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. swearing he would bring all the constables in the town. While we were there. Read went away. instead of taking my advice. At this I lost all temper. I entreated him. I used to go for the cargo up the rivers in boats. as I knew there was little or no law for a free negro here. and afterwards this oppressed man was sent from Georgia. and I have shot many of them when they have been near getting into our boats. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I dreaded. I therefore refused to stir. 92 hh-bb. and had desired me to go to work. which we have with great difficulty sometimes prevented. with false accusations. one evening a slave belonging to Mr. in August.
but he said he could not. Or GustavusVassa. Dixon. but I had all the expenses to pay. At first I refused this counsel. He went immediately for the warrant. my captain promised me the privilege of carrying two bullocks of my own with me. All rights are reserved. I asked the captain leave to bring my two. as he said he never had any complaint of me before. immediately went to Mr. and get me on board some other vessel. and said they would see me redressed. on which my captain came immediately to me at his lodging. the captain said. but. Read. with whom he lodged. and they said they would get me on board of some other vessel before the evening. which was a little out of town. and I gave him to understand. but. with the constables. that ever since I eloped from the vessel his work had been neglected. We were in haste to complete our lading. I was secreted about five days. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Dixon's house. that I intended to leave the vessel. At last some of them told my captain that he did not use me well.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I was a good deal mortified at this usage. and were to carry twenty head of cattle with us to the West Indies. I then asked him to permit me to take one. he therefore begged of him to forgive me. As soon as I had got the vessel loaded. telling me how pleasantly matters had gone on. my absence must retard his voyage. After repeated entreaties. and that the bullocks were near coming on board. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. himself and mate not being well. I was but just gone when Mr. according to his promise. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. after using every exertion in his power. Some of my other friends then asked him if he had got the constable's warrant from them. In order to encourage me in working. No. On this I was desired by them to stay in the house. My captain. he told me there was no room for them. When the captain heard this he became almost distracted. he swore he would have me dead or alive. of which I had always plenty. came for me. to my great surprise. nor could I think well of any man that was so much worse than his word. procured me some friends. he desired me to go on board. however. and. Mr. and searched the vessel. he would soon come on board with constables and take me. at a place called Yea-ma-chra. and that he would not meddle with me. and to make up for the time I had lost. and. he at last got it from my hunters. Read said I might go to hell. I went on board again to my work. and consequently hurt the owner. by the prevailing entreaties of the captain and Mr. being determined to stand my ground. On this we had some disagreement.com . in suffering me thus to be imposed upon. for the many years that I had been with him. 93 hh-bb. on this. where they are a very profitable article. and told him. and this made me work with redoubled ardour. Read. and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and told him I had no notion that he intended thus to impose on me. After I had thanked all my friends for their attention. and he could not go on with her loading. I went to Mr. but at length. as I had managed things on board for them. the good character which my captain always gave me as well as some other gentlemen who also knew me. and. in doing which I was obliged to perform the duty of the mate as well as my own work. not finding me there. At this he appeared to be very much dejected.
This was about November. however. and swore he would make up all matters when we arrived in the West Indies. I was so dissatisfied about that I determined to make no more voyages to this quarter. but I thought this very strange. and as we proceeded on our voyage they grew worse. advised him to persuade me to stay: in consequence of which he spoke very kindly to me. and we had not been long at sea before we began to meet with strong northerly gales and rough seas. upon me. our mate. he continued to press me to buy them for once. The whole care of the vessel rested. he therefore hoped that I would not be offended at what had passed between us. Our vessel. and not being able to dispose of my paper-money in any other way. All rights are reserved. the more he urged my taking them. for they declined so fast. and I was prevailed on to take them. he could not do without me. as the bullocks were coming on board. as he had never acted so with me before. that he never recovered of the blow. and. constantly having the owner's interest at heart. telling me that. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The captain and mate came on deck as often as they were able. making many fair promises. but I told him he knew very well I had never carried any turkeys before. the more I was against it.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and in about seven or eight days all the bullocks were near being drowned. who had been very sickly. as the safety of the vessel and cargo depended greatly upon me. not being able to work a traverse. which was now but seldom. for this just Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. We set sail for Montserrat. but in about seventeen days his illness increased so much. as the mate was so sickly. including five sailors and myself. and four or five of them died. induced me at length to take four dozen. and. However. insomuch that he ensured me from all losses that might happen by them. he would not fail to do so. and I was obliged to direct her by my former experience. what was very surprising to me. nor with this captain. if ever he should get well again. and that. The captain and mate had been both complaining of sickness when we sailed. was much less so now. In order to make me some amends for his treatment about the bullocks. though we were but nine in the whole. that he was obliged to keep his bed. Soon after this. The captain was now very sorry he had not taught me navigation. and whose duty had long devolved upon me. with me. the captain now pressed me very much to take some turkeys. and other fowls. This. 94 hh-bb. The turkeys.com . Or GustavusVassa. and butted him so furiously in the breast. however. as I always thought they were such tender birds that they were not fit to cross the seas. and was very apprehensive that my free voyage would be the worst I had ever made. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and gave me liberty to take as many as I could find room for. till the last. and protested. therefore. one of them ran at the captain. yet we were obliged to attend to the pumps every half or three quarters of an hour. continuing sensible. which had not been tight at first. so I consented to slave on as before. that they were not well enough to make observations above four or five times the whole voyage.
95 hh-bb. he was much regretted by all who knew him. for. In the course of a few days more. did well. When the death of the captain became known. had it pleased Providence that he had died but five months before. and. otherwise trifling circumstance. and I afterwards gained near three hundred per cent. for the success I had met with increased the affection of my friends in no small measure. though on the deck. he was to me a friend and a father. and was called Captain. but the turkies I had. to our great joy. and I now obtained a new appellation. and just.com . The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and regretted his death. I was persuaded I steered right for Antigua. and benevolent man ever appeared much concerned about the welfare of what he was intrusted with. Or GustavusVassa. besides that he was in general mild. on the sale of them. When this dear friend found the symptoms of death approaching. till he was gone. At the same time the sable captain lost no fame. and exposed to so much wet and bad weather. but to no purpose. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. generous. and the next day after we came safe to Montserrat. The care of the vessel took up all my time. the few bullocks that remained were found dead. and it is not improbable that I might not have been able to get it at any rate afterwards. and the day following we committed his body to the deep. he expired without saying another word. This elated me not a little. and engaged my attention entirely. chap. All rights are reserved. and I could not help looking on this. I thought I should not be much puzzled to hit upon the islands. and I was thankful accordingly. Many were surprised when they heard of my conducting the sloop into the port. 'I should then be the most ungrateful of wretches to the best of sorrow by his bedside. Indeed I had every reason in the world to be attached to him. and.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. which I wished to reach. xii. the mate came on the deck.' I replied. I verily believe I should not have obtained my freedom when I did.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. when I came to him. 9. and in the course of nine or ten days we made this island. so that in the event it proved a happy circumstance for me that I had not bought the bullocks I intended. faithful. As we were now out of the variable winds. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as the nearest to us. for he was a man universally respected. but I was exceedingly affected at it. and it was quite flattering to my vanity to be thus styled by as high a title as any free man in this place possessed. he called me by my name. he asked (with almost his last breath) if he had ever done me any harm? 'God forbid I should think so. the strength of my regard for him. and made such observations as he was able. Every man on board loved this man. for they must have perished with the rest. benevolent. and I found that I did not know. FOOTNOTES: [Footnote U: Acts. ver. as a particular providence of God. The captain being dead. affable.
and on the night following I dreamed the very same dream. and taken several slaves on board. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I dreamt the ship was wrecked amidst the surfs and rocks. ‘The author. Accordingly a new captain was appointed. All rights are reserved. and the next evening. King. Our new captain boasted strangely of his skill in navigating and conducting a vessel.’ As I had now. and he had done so much for me that I found myself unable to refuse his requests. was quite useless in the vessel. but Mr. and is obliged to put back and refit--Arrives at Georgia--Meets new impositions--Two white men attempt to kidnap him--Officiates as a parson at a funeral ceremony--Bids adieu to Georgia. except my gratitude to Mr. On the fourth of February. as the mate. 96 hh-bb. in quest of a ship--Their distress--Meet with a wrecker--Sail for Providence--Are overtaken again by a terrible storm. and on the 30th of January 1767 we steered for Georgia. and are all near perishing--Arrive at New Providence--The author. principally by means of the author--He sets out from the island with the captain. Eustatia. and that I was the means of saving every one on board. this appeared to me very extraordinary. to oblige Mr. but the crew are preserved. King still pressed me very much to stay with his vessel. we set sail for St. which I thought I had pretty well discharged in bringing back his vessel safe. which was soon after we had got into our new course. and in consequence of this he steered a new course. of which I had been long tired. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. it being my watch below. and steer a new course--Three remarkable dreams--The vessel is shipwrecked on the Bahama bank. sails from thence to Georgia--Meets with another storm. where my heart had always been. I began to think of leaving this part of the world. where we stayed but a few days. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. by the death of my captain. I had little inducement to remain longer in the West Indies. and. VIII. Or GustavusVassa. after some time. once more embarks for Georgia in one of his vessels--A new captain is appointed--They sail. King. several points more to the westward than we ever did before. and delivering his cargo to his satisfaction. and sails for Martinico.com . CHAPTER. These dreams however made no impression on my mind. lost my great benefactor and friend. and returning to England. an old acquaintance of mine. from his ill state of health. in a small boat. having refitted our vessel.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and consented to go another voyage to Georgia. whose name was William Phillips. I was pumping the vessel a little Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.
and after a little we got up one end of a cable. and told him the vessel was then near a large rock. He said it was very well. having abated a little. with some confusion. told him the danger we were in. as I had always the charge of the captain's watch. Being soon certain of this. We then called all hands up immediately. as it were one wave calling on its fellow: the roaring of the billows increased. I therefore went to him again. At twelve o'clock the watch was changed. and desired he would come up with speed. and the very moment we let the anchor go the vessel struck against the rocks. and. and especially. but. as is the custom.com . I went down to the captain. and. and fastened it to the anchor. the wind being very small. and. just before I went off the deck. and what he could mean by all this? 'The breakers. Still the captain did not appear. 'are round us. and get her out of the current. after eight o'clock. By this time the surf was foaming round us. When I was upon the deck again I saw we were not above a pistol shot from the rock. My spirits at this forsook me. I said it was not a fish but a rock. I thought that God had hurled his direful vengeance on my guilty head for cursing the vessel on which my life depended. and I heard the noise of the breakers all around us. but all to no purpose. and the captain having not yet come on the deck I lost all patience. and asked him why he did not come up. and I returned to the deck. and desired me to look at it. with one single heave of the swells.' With that he came on the deck with me. When I left the deck I went to bed. Accordingly I stood up and observed it for some time. though fearful that I was undeserving Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which had been pretty high. I was exceedingly alarmed at this. and tired at the pump. All my sins stared me in the face. and being weary with the duty of the day. All rights are reserved. and I went up again.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I remembered the Lord. by means of the current. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. while the dreadful surfs were dashing with unremitting fury among the rocks. and. and had scarcely fallen asleep when I dreamed the same dream again about the ship that I had dreamt the two preceeding nights. and the vessel is almost on the rock. (for we made a good deal of water) I began to express my impatience. Or GustavusVassa. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and I expected every moment to go to the bottom: I determined if I should still be saved that I would never swear again.' said I. As soon as I was upon deck the wind. One swell now succeeded another. the vessel began to be carried sideways towards the rock. growing quite enraged.' But my conscience instantly smote me for the expression. 97 hh-bb. the sloop was pierced and transfixed among the rocks! In a moment a scene of horror presented itself to my mind. and I uttered with an oath. I ran down to him again. and desired him to come upon deck immediately. and made a dreadful noise on the breakers. when I saw the sea wash up against it again and again. 'Damn the vessel's bottom out. He said he would. I then went upon deck. And in the midst of my distress. and he immediately called to me that there was a grampus. At half after one in the morning the man at the helm saw something under the lee-beam that the sea washed against. and we tried to put the vessel about. such as I never had conceived or experienced before.
but some abandoned all care of the ship and themselves. though we went with the boat Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I recovered just as the people were about to nail down the hatches. I could no longer restrain my emotion. that it quite overpowered me. with the utmost anxiety of mind we watched for daylight. they gave me some small hope that he might still help me. At last it saluted our longing eyes. where there were above twenty. and. which was but small. though how to escape death I knew not. as none of us could leave the vessel then on account of the darkness. and thought every minute an hour till it appeared. but a barrier soon presented itself. perceiving which. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. This cost us much labour and fatigue. Our boat had a piece out of her bottom near two feet long. The captain then said it must be done: I asked him why? He said that every one would endeavour to get into the boat.com . and plastered it over with tallow-grease. and fell to drinking. and. and. I then began to think how we might be saved. and they consisted of three black men and a Dutch Creole sailor. for there was not water enough for our boat to go over the reefs. This thought rushed upon my mind that instant with such violence. and I fainted. and we had no materials to mend her. and trust to God till daylight appeared. I desired them to stop. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. was a small key or island. calling to mind the many mercies he had shewn me in times past. and this threw us again into a sad consternation. of forgiveness. thus prepared. and thereby we should be drowned. And. However the hatches were not nailed down. what is still worse. however. The captain immediately ordered the hatches to be nailed down on the slaves in the hold. and that God would charge me with these people's blood. and I believe the people would have tossed him overboard if I had given them the least hint of it. Or GustavusVassa. I took some pump leather and nailed it to the broken part. and.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. we all said we would remain on the dry part of the vessel. for the dreadful swell began to subside. all of whom must unavoidably have perished if he had been obeyed. all of us were frequently under the necessity of getting out to drag and lift it over the reefs. and some of us began to set about it. for it would not have carried above ten at the most. and. and I believe no mind was ever like mine so replete with inventions and confused with schemes. and were convinced besides that the boat could not survive the surfs. and I told him he deserved drowning for not knowing how to navigate the vessel. what was yet more distressing. but there was no alternative. 98 hh-bb. There were only four people that would work with me at the oars. and I thought that as he had often delivered he might yet deliver. I then advised to get the boat prepared against morning. and kind Providence accompanied its approach with what was no small comfort to us. All rights are reserved. When he desired the man to nail down the hatches I thought that my sin was the cause of this. we were therefore obliged to put but few in the boat at once. when we should know better what to do. we could not avoid having our legs cut and torn very much with the rocks. and as we knew not where to go. necessity being the mother of invention. about five or six miles off. and the next thing that we discovered to raise our drooping spirits. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.
it was fulfilled in every part. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and perhaps these cannibals may take to the water. I warned the people who were drinking and entreated them to embrace the moment of deliverance.' Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. The captain wanted to go to a key that was within sight. we continued all the day to toil and strain our exertions. was one cause of my labouring so hard for their preservation. five times that day. by putting on shore so often that day.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I planted several of them as a token to any one that might be cast away hereafter. This created a great panic among us. that. when they walked backwards and forwards. we had no others to assist us. nevertheless they persisted.com . and indeed they soon got so drunk that they were not able. with a white sandy beach running in a regular order along it. 99 hh-bb. finding it to be a good soil where we were. I could not help thinking. perhaps. and while we were on the key I was a kind of chieftain amongst them. and indeed every one of them afterwards seemed so sensible of the service I had rendered them. had we not worked in this manner. we could not conceive what they were: our captain swore they were cannibals. I brought some limes. God would charge me with their lives. owing to some of our people getting drunk. 'And therefore. the skin was entirely stript off my hands. which. for not one of the white men did any thing to preserve their lives. and. However. On that part of it where we first attempted to land there stood some very large birds. appeared to us at a little distance as large as men. which consist of a cluster of large islands. as they are called. and. This key. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. was one of the Bahama islands. interspersed among them. oranges. if the wind had but raised the swell as it was when the vessel struck. for in a very little time longer the patch of leather on the boat would have been worn out. so that out of thirty-two people we lost not one. This want of assistance made our labour intolerably severe. that. if any of these people had been lost. and we held a consultation how to act. and she would have been no longer fit for service. All rights are reserved. from the reflection of the sun. but lay about the deck like swine. till we had brought all on board safe to the shore. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. insomuch. called flamingoes: these. My dream now returned upon my mind with all its force. and though. for. and it was fortunate we did. the rest of us were obliged to double our exertions. 'let us go on shore here. with smaller ones or keys. and lemons ashore. so that we were at last obliged to lift them into the boat and carry them on shore by force. but I was against it. Situated as we were. as if not possessed of the least spark of reason.' said I. But. but a great way off. It was about a mile in circumference. we must have bid a final farewell to all hopes of deliverance. for our danger was the same I had dreamt of: and I could not help looking on myself as the principal instrument in effecting our deliverance. as in so doing we should not be able to save all the people. Or GustavusVassa. who could think that men should be so careless of the danger they were in? for. as we afterwards found. I really believe the people could not have been saved.
which we did as well as we could with some sails we had brought from the ship. we hauled the boat ashore to try for water and remain during the night: when we came ashore we searched for water. In this situation we toiled all day in sight of the island. the largest of the Bahama islands. It took us up however eleven days before we could get the boat ready for sea in the manner we wanted it. and the captain and myself. some biscuit. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and we were exceedingly fatigued in pulling two days in the heat of the sun. to our very great joy and no less wonder. 100 hh-bb. We could not Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. we made a fire around us for fear of the wild beasts. When it was dark. and to put to sea in quest of a ship or some inhabited island. We were now much dejected and weakened by pulling the boat. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. About the key there were turtles and several sorts of fish in such abundance that we caught them without bait. We then went to look for fresh water. and our stock of provisions consisted of three gallons of rum. which was very long. and when we approached them.com . and at last they took flight and relieved us entirely from our fears. with a sail and other necessaries. and we were almost famished for want of fresh water to drink. they walked off one after the other very deliberately. which was a great relief to us after the salt provisions on board. and it being late in the evening. We had nothing left to eat but salt beef. being quite faint for the want of it. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. if we did not take the water when it rained. There was also a large rock on the beach. We then began to think how we might get from this place. As soon as the light appeared we set off again with our boat. but this I refused. in hopes of finding assistance during the day. and fastened our boat. Or GustavusVassa. In this situation we found very little rest. and in this manner we proceeded to sea. We had no more than two musket load of gunpowder with us if any thing should happen. set off in the boat towards New Providence. in the evening. and that we could not use without water. All rights are reserved. Accordingly we steered towards them. was to make ourselves tents to lodge in. and we determined to repair our boat. which was in the form of a punch-bowl at the top. four of water. and it was something singular that. which was very much shattered. which was quite uninhabited. but could not find one drop. that we expected nothing but death to deliver us. so that our dejection at this period became excessive.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. On the second day of our voyage we came to an island called Obbico. with five more. for by this time our water was expended. and waited with impatience for the morning. When we had got all things prepared the captain wanted me to stay on shore while he went to sea in quest of a vessel to take all the people off the key. about ten feet high. for our sail was of no use. and our terror so great. We were much in want of water. we made ashore again. this we could not help thinking Providence had ordained to supply us with rainwater. in some little time after it would turn as salt as sea-water. but could find none. as the place was an entire thick wood. seeing no relief. and we took it by turns to watch. and we dug and searched about for some all the remainder of the evening. Our first care. after refreshment. some salt beef.
and we now began to repine at our fate. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. would then have faced twenty men. in the midst of our murmuring. went ashore on one of those keys again in hopes of finding some water. When we came near to her. but in a little time some of us began to be afraid it was not a sail. we plainly saw that it was a vessel. which was as salt as brine. to New Providence in quest of a ship. swore that they were pirates. we rowed alongside. but could not meet with a ship. still famishing with thirst. This counsel was immediately taken. that I brought in the boat. touch our beef. and I really believe that the captain. As we were digging holes in search of water there came forth some very thick and black stuff. like us. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. to find that the major part of them were in the same predicament as ourselves! They belonged to a whaling schooner that was wrecked two days before us about nine miles to the north of our vessel. and we all instantly turned to look at it. called a wrecker. Our captain. and. in half an hour. for there was no alternative between their perishing and ours. and. if they should not receive us kindly. We had two cutlasses and a musquet. about the size of a Gravesend hoy. the captain all at once cried out 'A sail! A sail! a sail!' This gladdening sound was like a reprieve to a convict. for which the wrecker was to have all things belonging to the vessel. when they met with this little sloop. at a venture. be that as it might. Here we found some leaves with a few drops of water in them. but could not. Or GustavusVassa. and abandon ourselves to despair. who was a Welchman. However. a circumstance which we could not make out the meaning of.com . as soon as we got on board. and immediately boarded her. in this situation. during which we passed several keys. we must board her if we were to die for it. In this manner we toiled as well as we were able till four o'clock. we must oppose them as well as we could. and. and we were in the greatest terror from the apprehension of wild beasts. and would kill us. I believe there were about forty hands on board. which we lapped with much eagerness. and the Dutchman. in the same manner as we had done. we embarked and steered after it. but how great was our surprise. When unwelcome night came we acted as on the night before. and we made towards her with all the speed imaginable. when. we found she was a little sloop. 101 hh-bb. but without success. and were going. except the poor Dutch Creole. their employment in those seas being to look after wrecks.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and quite full of people. and likewise their people's help to get what they could out of her. and. All rights are reserved. myself. and were then to carry the crew to New Providence. At this our drooping spirits revived. we then dug in several places. We tried to catch fish. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and the next morning we set off again from the island in hopes of seeing some vessel. They were then going to take the remainder of the people belonging to the schooner. but none of us could touch it. who drank above a quart of it as eagerly as if it had been wine. When she was wrecked some of them had taken to their boats and had left some of their people and property on a key. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I said. to our unspeakable joy. without fresh water.
and got a good many lobsters and other shellfish. in a little punt that belonged to the wrecker.com . they therefore hired the schooner's people to work on our wreck. on their complying. was put in along with them. with a little buoy. and. and we made the same agreement with them as the schooner's people. beyond our comprehension he did assist us. and for our own. Luckily for us. to the inexpressible joy of the people that we had left behind. We then proceeded on our voyage. as well as we. and several others. with great hazard. who were expert swimmers. and in a miraculous manner delivered us! In the very height of our extremity the wind lulled for a few minutes. for a speedy deliverance. they got the punt clear from the vessel. Here we expected every minute that she would have gone to pieces. expecting every minute to be their last: and the prayers of all those that remained in their senses were offered up to God. attempted to go to the buoy of the anchor. They agreed. which depended on them. and struck several times on the shoals. and we left them our boat. for she parted from her anchors. The eyes of us all were fixed on them all the time. because our people were in want of water. sure enough. and. although the swell was high beyond expression. as our provisions and water were almost exhausted. and he heard and answered us! Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and whilst we were yet amongst the Bahama keys. and embarked for New Providence. so much so that my old captain and sickly useless mate. Nothing could have been more fortunate than our meeting with this wrecker. and. which was not large enough to carry more than two. which we still saw on the water. All the swearers on board now began to call on the God of Heaven to assist them: and. and in two days we arrived at the key. fainted. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. When we arrived there we watered. the wrecker had now more people on board than she could carry or victual for any moderate length of time. we were overtaken by a violent gale of wind. A coil of very small rope. to go along with us first. which proved a great relief to us. we begged of them to go to our key directly. late in the evening. so that we were obliged to cut away the mast. and each moment to be our last. Or GustavusVassa. at last. two men.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. for New Providence was at such a distance that we never could have reached it in our boat. and these two intrepid water heroes paddled away for life towards the buoy of the anchor. therefore. We told the people of the wrecker the condition of our vessel. on their behalf. All rights are reserved. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 102 hh-bb. and death stared us in the face on every side. as they had been reduced to great extremities for want of water in our absence. towards New Providence. but the day after we left the island. The island of Abbico was much longer than we expected. The vessel was very near foundering. at some distance. She filled different times in their endeavours to get into her alongside of our vessel. but they said they might as well die that way as any other. and they saw nothing but death before them. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and it was not till after sailing for three or four days that we got safe to the farther end of it.
It is impossible for any to conceive our heartfelt joy at this second deliverance from ruin. with a fair wind. but my fellow-sufferers not having any money to help themselves with. The inhabitants here were very kind to us. for Georgia. if we would work on board and load her. Those whose strength and senses were gone came to themselves. seeing our condition. Soon after this every one of my old fellow-sufferers that were free parted from us. and knowing we wanted to go to Georgia. and to steer that course. and I took my leave of New Providence. and sent it adrift towards the vessel. As soon as we had done this we got up the anchor. The punt then went on shore. and there were some free black people here who were very happy. and were now as elated as they were before depressed. and they pulled the hawser to them. though they did not like it. and away we went once more for New Providence. we were obliged to consent to his proposal. and fixed it up. These two men at last reached the buoy. This. and about eleven o'clock the same morning a short and sudden gale sprung up and blew away most of our Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Or GustavusVassa. Two days after this the wind ceased.com . Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and shaped their course where their inclination led them. I refused. who had a large sloop. At length Captain Phillips hired a sloop to carry him and some of the slaves that he could not sell to Georgia. during which time I met with many friends. as I liked the place extremely. We on board observing this threw out boathooks and leads fastened to lines. but those who have suffered the same hardships. and the water became smooth. and we cut down some trees. when they learned our situation. All rights are reserved. necessity obliged them to accept of the offer. and I agreed to go with him in this vessel. 103 hh-bb. not without regret. under the lime and lemon trees. I should have stayed. and the punt got safe to the vessel. We sailed about four o'clock in the morning. and. and. and. meaning now to take my farewell of that place. and fastened it to the buoy: which being done we hauled for our lives. in order to catch the buoy: at last we caught it. As we could not get any wages whatever. When the vessel was ready we all embarked. through the mercy of God. having fastened the punt to it. which in three days more we reached safe. and we passed our time pleasantly together. where we must go if we went in her. had not my heart been fixed on England. and. they tied one end of their rope to the small buoy that they had in the punt. after having been above three weeks in a situation in which we did not expect to escape with life. told four of us that his vessel was going there. though. and having found our mast and mended it we brought it on board. with the melodious sound of the catguts. and fastened a hawser to the end of the small rope. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. shewed us a great deal of hospitality and friendship. When she was entirely loaded he told us she was going to Jamaica first.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. we then gave them a sign to pull. however. we got again from the shoals into deep water. We stayed in New Providence about seventeen or eighteen days. who gave me encouragement to stay there with them: but I declined it. he would give us our passage free. One merchant. though we had only our victuals allowed us. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and found it very hard to get off the place. and we went on board and helped to load the sloop.
and they came in and sat down. said that as I was a free man they could not justify stripping me by law. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I told them that I was a free man. and they were going to lay violent hands on me. But these things did not deter me.' replied they. Or GustavusVassa. The next day we returned to Providence. and. but was very well known there: 'Besides. and had his master to protect him. after our kindness to them. but. where we soon got her again refitted. more humane than the rest. We were very happy at meeting each other. in seven day's time arrived safe at Georgia. All rights are reserved. in a very few minutes it dashed the sloop against the rocks. Some of the people swore that we had spells set upon us by somebody in Montserrat. 104 hh-bb. A little after this they told me I must go to the watch-house with them: this surprised me a good deal. and either pay some dollars or be flogged. and instantly they swore they would serve me as Doctor Perkins had done. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I said. and being many in number. and the sea was not so angry but that. by using our greatest exertions. and after supper we had a light till it was between nine and ten o'clock at night.' Now whether they meant to get money from me or not I was at a loss to know. that we were not making any noise. when one of them. and the same evening I went to a friend's house to lodge. as we were still amongst the keys. and. and I asked them. as they understood I had some. After our arrival we went up to the town of Savannah. and. Why so? They said that all negroes who had light in their houses after nine o'clock were to be taken into custody.' said I. we got the vessel off. 'what will you do with me?'--'That you shall see. with hard labour. a black man. we were saved through God's mercy. they knocked at the door: we opened it. 'but you must go to the watch-house with us. and then they told me that I must be flogged too. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and that we never should arrive safe at Georgia. About that time the watch or patrol came by. But this only exasperated them the more. but trust to God. whose name was Mosa. and he will deliver us. 'Let us again face the winds and seas. where I remained during the night. as the man of the house was not free. which I readily gave them. and swear not. Luckily for us the water was deep.com . Early the next morning these imposing ruffians flogged a negro-man and woman that they had in the watch-house. discerning a light in the house. Some of those people knew that I was a free man.' We therefore once more set sail.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and that I was not a stranger in that place. and just arrived from Providence. sails. and. and drank some punch with us: they also begged some limes of me. and others that we had witches and wizzards amongst the poor helpless slaves. they did not take the same liberty with him they did with me. but I thought immediately of the oranges and limes at Santa Cruz: and seeing that nothing would pacify them I went with them to the watch-house. I asked why? and if there was no law for free men? And told them if there was I would have it put in force against them. after having for some time laboured hard. I then immediately sent for Doctor Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.
and I had also with me a revengeful stick equal to the occasion. I believed I did. King. 105 hh-bb. who had a child lying dead. who meant to play their usual tricks with me in the way of kidnapping. for. and sailed for Martinico. I told her I was no parson. and. This however did not satisfy her. and they must not think to serve me so. As she was much respected. Or GustavusVassa. I then accordingly assumed my new vocation. who was known to be an honest and worthy man. but I told them to be still and keep off. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. she still urged me very hard: I therefore complied with her earnest entreaties. which belonged to Grenada. and not able to get any white person to perform it. I replied. This was not the only disagreeable incident I met with while I was in this place. after which I bade adieu to Georgia. Captain John Bunton. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and besides. a French island. one of them said to the other. there was a great company both of white and black people at the grave. with a cargo of rice. and on his coming to my assistance they let me go. while I was a little way out of the town of Savannah. one day. On this they made up to me. Happily however it was not used. and the other answered that I talked too good English. for I had seen those kind of tricks played upon other free blacks. applied to me for that purpose. I was beset by two white men. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I stayed in Savannah some time. As soon as these men accosted me. and was bound to Martinico. being very tenacious of the church burial service. and my mind was likewise good. At last I met with a sloop called the Speedwell. the rogues left me. that the service over the dead did not affect the soul. my old master. after we had talked together a little in this manner. and then to take a final farewell of the American quarter of the globe. 'This is the very fellow we are looking for that you lost:' and the other swore immediately that I was the identical person. and I shipped myself on board of her. Before I left Georgia a black woman. At this they paused a little. anxiously trying to get to Montserrat once more to see Mr. and one said to the other--it will not do. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Brady. and were about to handle me. and performed the funeral ceremony to the satisfaction of all present.com . All rights are reserved. and at last consented to act the parson for the first time in my life.
I met with so much shuffling from him. we got safe to our intended port. All rights are reserved. and found it very pleasant: in particular I admired the town of St. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.’ I thus took a final leave of Georgia. and afterwards goes a voyage to Grenada. that throughout the West Indies no black man's testimony is admitted. Pascal--Learns the French horn--Hires himself with Doctor Irving. alas! I had put a great stumbling block in my own way. and built more like an European town than any I had seen in the West Indies. where he learns to freshen sea water--Leaves the doctor. against any white person whatever. and looked better than those in the English islands. by which I was near losing my passage that season to England. While I was on this island I went about a good deal. But. that I began at last to be afraid of losing my money. for the treatment I had received in it disgusted me very much against the place. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as I could not recover it by law: for I have already mentioned. in time to sail for Old England in the July fleet. My new captain conducted his vessel safer than my former one. King. I had lent my captain some money. and. on any occasion. and therefore my own oath would have been of no use. This I told him. and they embark together on a voyage to the North Pole. and another to Jamaica--Returns to the Doctor. Thus we sailed from Martinico for the Grenades. which is the principal one in the island. IX ‘The author arrives at Martinico--Meets with new difficulties--Gets to Montserrat. and the dangers the author was in--He returns to England. I frequently pressing the captain for my money to no purpose.com . Pierre. after an agreeable voyage. and all my other friends there. which was necessary. 106 hh-bb. In general also. Capt. to render my condition worse. and I wished much to be at Montserrat to bid farewell to Mr. with the Hon. CHAPTER. Or GustavusVassa. and sails for England--Meets Capt. when Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. had more holidays. where he takes leave of his old master. though I urged the necessity of my occasion. Phipps--Some account of that voyage.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and. I was obliged. which I now wanted to enable me to prosecute my intentions. and goes a voyage to Turkey and Portugal. slaves were better treated. for it was then the month of May. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but when I applied for it. therefore. After we had done our business here. and when I left it and sailed for Martinico I determined never more to revisit it. I wanted my discharge. to remain with him till he might be disposed to return it to me.
he desired me to go on board. however. and no time could be lost. after an absence of six months. in a few minutes. On the 22d. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. and the next day. that his house was washed away during my absence.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Kitts. I saw my friends with a gladness of heart which was increased by my absence and the dangers I had escaped. having met with a vessel bound to Montserrat. I feared I should miss that opportunity of going to Montserrat. The vessel was just going off. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and in a short time have land and slaves of my own. and that I had come to visit him before my departure. and I could not get my money nor wages. and sorrow that I should leave him. and took the first vessel I could meet with for St. when he leaves an island. When I told him I intended to go to London that season. Eustatia. The worst of all was. and then I could not get to England that year. and. We then set sail. and I was received with great friendship by them all. in which I had more than once experienced the delivering hand of Providence. the 23d. when all human means of escaping destruction seemed hopeless. I thanked him Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I could then have gotten my passage free to Montserrat had I been able to accept it. 107 hh-bb. with a great many entreaties. to my very great joy. that I might do very well. It swept great part of the town away. I got my money from the captain. and the causes of her being wrecked. Luckily I found. some gentlemen of Montserrat whom I knew. so that my situation became daily more irksome: for besides that we on board had little or no victuals allowed us. by the bursting of a pond at the top of a mountain that was opposite the town of Plymouth. we got there. for if I should be compelled to submit to this degrading necessity. I now learned with extreme sorrow. insisting. and Mr. of advertising himself like a slave. King. I immediately therefore set about. I wanted to go in her. and the ships in the islands must sail by the 26th of that month. but he insisted it was necessary. and the captain about to sail. I told them of my haste to be in Montserrat. and which I thought a gross imposition upon any freeman. and that the time then would not admit of advertising. which every black freeman is under. and give notice of my going off the island. but particularly by Mr. and nearly his life. it being late in the evening. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. to whom I related the fate of his sloop. and satisfied him of my freedom. as I was much respected by all the gentlemen in the place. At last. on this. I arrived at the wished-for place. the Nancy. went with me to the captain. King lost a great deal of property from the inundation. This reduced me to great perplexity. Or GustavusVassa. the captain and his owners quarrelled. I requested their friendly assistance in helping me off the island. where I arrived on the 19th of July. to try who I could get to befriend me in complying with the demands of the captain. and otherwise he said he would not take me. the good man expressed a great deal of affection for me. and warmly advised me to stay there. Some of them. having told them my situation. From thence I went in another to Basseterre in St. and. with a heavy heart.com . that it was growing late in July. but the captain and others would not take me on board until I should advertise myself.
With a light heart I bade Montserrat farewell. I immediately agreed to go with one Capt. and. and with it I bade adieu to the sound of the cruel whip. and adieu to the angry howling. in steering the course I had long wished for. after having been absent from it above four years. As soon. Greenwich. Robert King. and on the 24th and 25th I had free dances. when I got cleared of the ship. I wished for a grateful and thankful heart to praise the Lord God on high for all his mercies! We had a most prosperous voyage. whom I was very impatient to see. I had thirty-seven guineas in all. I now entered upon a scene. as they are called. 108 hh-bb. as I had regaled myself I went in quest of those kind ladies. but. the passage to London. I immediately received my wages.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and amongst the first of those were the Miss Guerins. which has too often accosted my eyes.com . and still more so. and discharged his duty with honesty and assiduity. 'To all whom this may concern. after which I took leave of all my friends. Thus were my longing eyes once more gratified with a sight of London. adieu to oppressions (although to me less severe than most of my countrymen). I parted from my kind master. with some of my countrymen. on board a ship called the Andromache. quite new to me. after many sincere professions of gratitude and regard. I told them my history. They were most agreeably surprised to see me. and never had my feet on it since. I then requested he would be kind enough to give me a certificate of my behaviour while in his service. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. during which he has always behaved himself well. All rights are reserved. 1767. at which they expressed great wonder. as I wished very much to be in London. therefore. and prepared for my departure for London. and with some difficulty and perseverance. previous to my setting off. but full of hope. January 26. dashing surfs. adieu to the offensive sight of the violated chastity of the sable females. I declined remaining any longer there. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Gustavus Vassa. and I quite overjoyed at meeting with them. for seven guineas. at the end of seven weeks. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and begged he would excuse me. John Hamer.' Having obtained this. andmall other dreadful instruments of torture. Or GustavusVassa. which he very readily complied with. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. for this instance of his friendship. arrived at Cherry-Garden stairs. exceedingly glad to see myself once more on board of a ship. I found them at May's-hill. and I never had earned seven guineas so quick in my life before. was my slave for upwards of three years. and gave me the following: ‘Montserrat. In this situation my first thoughts were to look out for some of my former friends.’ 'The bearer hereof. and on the 26th I embarked for London.
that they were sorry it did not suit them to take me as their servant. and how they could assist me. Haymarket. and besides that I was fond of it. therefore I thanked God and him for it. and said. All rights are reserved. the evenings being long. desired me to commence a lawsuit against him for it: 'There are lawyers enough. 'I suppose you did not walk back to London on the water. he turned about and went away. I told him that he had used me very ill. and I met him four or five days after in Greenwich park. This he did as far as barter and alligation. in a bantering tone. and it filled up my vacant hours innocently. Capt.'that will take the cause in hand.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Or GustavusVassa. in Coventry-court. A few days after this I met Capt. I took great delight in blowing on this instrument. 'In a ship. O'Hara. Charles Irving. I remained still. one Capt. to improve me in arithmetic. on which he bade me defiance. but if not. I told him I was informed otherwise. When he saw me he appeared a good deal surprised. and allowed me in the evenings to attend my schools. which would support me for some time. I would be much obliged to them to recommend me to some person who would teach me a business whereby I might earn my living. hair-dressing. In that time we had a neighbour in the same court who taught the French horn. who treated me with much kindness. Mr. They then promised to assist me in this. and you had better try it. after I had been such a faithful servant to him for so many years. he had a right to it all. if my prize money had been 10.' To which he replied dryly. out of regard to the ladies. He said there was none due to me. and that I had not much reason to expect any favour from him. and asked me how I came back? I answered. Pascal. for. and asked me what business I should like to learn? I said. a hair-dresser. so that all the time I was there I was entirely employed. where he kept an academy and an evening-school. They answered me very politely. who lived in the same court. no honour. I thanked them. I was with this man from September till the February following.' As I saw. which enraged him very much.' said he. and never made any farther demand of my right. Accordingly he took me in hand. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. without saying any more. and I soon learned all the three parts. that he did not seem to be sorry for his behaviour to me. Pascal at Miss Guerin's house. in Pall-mall. Gregory. on which. 109 hh-bb.com . Some time afterwards these friendly ladies asked me what I meant to do with myself. so celebrated for his successful experiments in making sea water fresh. and. In February 1768 I hired myself to Dr. and soon after they recommended me to a gentleman whom I had known before. with whom he placed me. and here I had plenty of hair-dressing to improve my hand. as I had thirty-seven guineas. He used to blow it so well that I was charmed with it. I did not like to be idle. and asked him for my prize-money. he was exceedingly kind and good tempered. I would be their servant. and agreed with him to teach me to blow it. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and used all Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. by his manner. which I esteemed a great blessing. if they pleased. and freely acknowledged it did their cousin.' I told him then that I would try it. At this time also I agreed with the Rev.000 L. and began to instruct me. however. and procured me a master. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. He then visited there frequently. This gentleman was an excellent master.
for I soon heard of a gentleman who had a ship going to Italy and Turkey. and had hitherto found the profession of it successful. as I had been directed. therefore. and voyage. and besides were all very kind to me. I was extremely fortunate in my inquiry. When we left Italy we had delightful sailing among the Archipelago islands. separate. and good wine less than a penny a pint. This diligence and attention recommended me to the notice and care of my three preceptors. which I was very fond of. In general I believe they are fond of black people. or Christians. My wages. a neat smart good humoured man. The ship was called the Delawar. and gave him a specimen of my dressing. and Leghorn. and very rarely any in the streets. 110 hh-bb. and from thence to Smyrna in Turkey. and many other fruits. The natives are well looking and strong made. and went immediately on board of his ship. in the month of May. were entirely to my mind. as I had been bred to it. so that they sometimes present the appearance of church-yards. to which he made no opposition. I was directed to his lodgings. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Nice. were also the richest and largest I ever tasted. my old thirty-seven guineas had by this time worn all away to one. for the ship. The grapes. and we parted on friendly terms. Accordingly. and I already foreboded no small pleasure in sailing in her. however. Or GustavusVassa. and my own necessary expenses. just such an one as I wished to serve. I had also a very great desire to see Turkey. We sailed from England in July following. All rights are reserved. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and struck with the elegant buildings with which they abound. I told the doctor my wish to go to sea again. This is a very ancient city. and I now determined to gratify it. The same day I went into the city in quest of a master. I was astonished in not seeing women in any of their shops. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. master. which afforded me opportunities to see the country around. and whenever I did they were covered with a veil from head to foot. We went to Villa Franca.com . I was overjoyed at this. so that I was perfectly happy. pomegranates. He liked it so well that he hired me immediately. who on their parts bestowed a great deal of pains in my instruction. and treated me always with great civility. We had always in them plenty of extraordinary good wines and rich fruits. Not finding the gentleman on board. which I found to be fitted up with great taste. 1768. to try the sea again in quest of more money. which were by two thirds less than I ever had in my life (for I had only 12l. and in all these places I was charmed with the richness and beauty of the countries. where I met with him the next day. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and my master's name was John Jolly. and several of them gave me pressing invitations to stay amongst them. and I had frequent occasions of gratifying both my taste and curiosity. although they keep the franks. and most of them have graves adjoining to them. and do not suffer them to dwell immediately amongst them. my diligence to improve the opportunity. I thought it best. for my captain always lodged on shore in those places. Provisions are very plentiful in this city. which I was very fond of. and our voyage was extremely pleasant. I also learned navigation of the mate. and he wanted a man who could dress hair well. per annum) I soon found would not be sufficient to defray this extraordinary expense of masters. the houses are built of stone.
I had a great curiosity to go into some of their churches. where many of the clergy and laity went in procession in their several orders with the host. during our stay here. This is one of the finest cities I ever saw. some of the edifices were of beautiful marble. but its virtues were lost on me. and certain other things. which they sometimes did. in some measure. we sailed for England. But all this grandeur was in my eyes disgraced by the galley slaves. The fat of them is very white and rich. and curiously adorned both in the inside and out. whose condition both there and in other parts of Italy is truly piteous and wretched. we sailed for London. After we had stayed there some weeks. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The town is well built and pretty. were sent on shore till the ships were going away. dance here in the same manner as we do in my nation. particularly the garden of Eden. and got them very cheap. On our arrival. but could not gain admittance without using the necessary sprinkling of holy water at my entrance. except when any of them out of curiosity uncovered them to look at me. The churches were rich and magnificent. The bay is the most beautiful I ever saw. and made a most noble appearance. The less refined Greeks. with very heavy penalties if we should break any of them. This place abounds with plenty of all kinds of provisions. In May 1769. so that I could not see their faces. and commands a fine prospect. 111 hh-bb. there were sent on board to us thirty-six articles to observe. I therefore complied with this ceremony. and many had very curious fountains before them. for I found myself nothing the better for it. Our ship having taken in a load of wine. during which we bought many different things which we wanted. that I have known the tail even of a lamb to weigh from eleven to thirteen pounds. our ship made a delightful voyage to Oporto in Portugal. and so very large. From curiosity. Our ship being at length richly loaded with silk. where we arrived at the time of the carnival. and a wish to be holy. and none of us even dared to go on board any other vessel or on shore till the Inquisition had sent on board and searched for every thing illegal. I liked the place and the Turks extremely well. and we sailed in September for Genoa. and other articles. On the whole. I saw here many very magnificent sights.com . and sung Te Deum. Our next voyage was to the Mediterranean.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. kept under by the Turks. the moles for shipping are excellent. a charming city. as the negroes are in the West Indies by the white people. I was surprised to see how the Greeks are. for which it is much used. Or GustavusVassa. and other commodities. we sailed to Naples. and is excellent in puddings. and arrived in July following. and any person in whose custody a bible was found concealed was to be imprisoned and flogged. and sent into slavery for ten years. All rights are reserved. which was about five months. and remarkably clean. I could not help observing one very remarkable circumstance there: the tails of the sheep are flat. especially bibles. as I have already hinted. soon after our return from Turkey. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Such as were produced. The ship was again got ready.
A black cook. and wanted me to stay.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and made me many fair promises as usual. I met once more with my former kind of West India customers. and we sailed from London for Madeira. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. an islander. I thought it extraordinary to see grand operas acted here on Sunday nights. they brought with them a great quantity of locusts. M'Intosh. They let no Christians into their mosques or churches. The people of these caravans are quite brown. I have seen many caravans from India. sweet and pleasant to the palate. so that we found we were like to get more blows than payment. so that my noble captain. He had likewise bought goods from some more of our people. in melting some fat. On this we went to complain to one Mr. and vainly served God in the day while I thus served mammon effectually at night. The plague broke out while we were in Smyrna. where we arrived in December. we told his worship of the man's villainous tricks. 112 hh-bb. and we stopped taking goods into the ship till it was over. Among other articles. which are a kind of pulse. which immediately began to blaze. Robertson of the ship Grenada Planter. some new event occurred. In April 1771 I shipped myself as a steward with Capt. It was extremely awful. The merchants here travel in caravans or large companies. Wm. and offered me two wives. but on the contrary. but without any intention of paying me. Barbadoes. She was then richly laden. and altogether speechless. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and the flame went up very high under the foretop. and. for which I was very sorry.com . a justice of the peace. and near sailing. went to those sights. overset the pan into the fire under the deck. Happily however we got the fire out without doing much mischief. After we had transacted our business at Naples we sailed with a fair wind once more for Smyrna. with some hundreds of camels. A white man. laden with different goods. we arrived in Standgate creek in July. of which I had a perfect view. When we were at this last place. bought some goods of me to the amount of some pounds. All rights are reserved. and the Grenades. and I all separated. and begged that he would be kind enough to see us redressed: but being Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. One day in our passage we met with an accident which was near burning the ship. having some goods to sell. the ship. when I asked him for my money he threatened me and another black man he had bought goods of. however I refused the temptation. at the latter end of the year. and even attended by their majesties. this honest buyer discovered no intention or sign of paying for any thing he had bought of us. and in shape resembling French beans. when our ship was loaded. However. After various delays in this passage. and we were so near that the ashes from it used to be thick on our deck. whom he intended to serve in the same manner. but longer. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. With the fright the poor cook became almost white. like these great ones. which was tedious. and we sailed in about March 1770 for England. as I was always fond of going to see the different modes of worship of the people wherever I went. once more to try my fortune in the West Indies. but he still amused us with promises. A seraskier or officer took a liking to me here. Or GustavusVassa. I too. Each kind of goods is sold in a street by itself. While we remained here there happened an eruption of mount Vesuvius. and I always found the Turks very honest in their dealings.
Or GustavusVassa. after we had entirely stripped him. after having wished us a good voyage. but Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. they go about to different people for employment. owing to a piece of negligence of mine. I saw many cruel punishments inflicted on the slaves in the short time I stayed here. When we found where he was. But. but nothing near our demands. negroes. but I was so overcome with terror that I immediately fainted at this deliverance. two different masters noted for cruelty on the island. and the usual pay is from one to four bits. This exasperated us much more. Luckily for us however. the rogue offered each of us some small allowance. and we all went together in search of him. and in two hours the vermin stung them to death. I cannot help remarking here a very narrow escape we had from being blown up. Smith at Port Morant bought goods of me to the amount of twenty-five pounds sterling. All rights are reserved. It remained in the powder until it was near catching fire. in my hurry. and the slaves punished as in the other islands. though we thought it hard to lose our property in this manner. Captain David Watt. in order to relieve the reader by a milder scene of roguery. There were also. and the most considerable of the West India islands. but he begged hard for mercy. I took him out of a house and threatened him with vengeance. and had a lighted candle in my hand.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. finding he was likely to be handled roughly. and I got clear of this ship. whom I found as usual exceedingly imposed upon by the white people. one Mr. There are negroes whose business it is to flog slaves. and some were for cutting his ears off. and ran into the bushes. we knew not how to help ourselves. Just as our ship was under sail. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and we sailed from England in December 1771 for Nevis and Jamaica. called the Jamaica. and our ship being then just upon the point of sailing. and shortly after set sail for England. as steward on board of a fine large ship. this man was also indebted to three white sailors. in which posture he was flogged most unmercifully. I shipped myself soon after. I heard a gentleman I well knew tell my captain that he passed sentence on a negro man to be burnt alive for attempting to poison an overseer. without thinking. in the same year. and providentially no harm happened. I went down into the cabin to do some business. for which he thanked us. I found Jamaica to be a very fine large island. they therefore readily joined us. and then some half hundred weights were fixed to his ancles. although free. glad to get off so easily. We then repaired on board. being still of a roving disposition. In particular I was present when a poor fellow was tied up and kept hanging by the wrists at some distance from the ground. which. who had staked up two negroes naked. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I held in a barrel of gunpowder. who could not get a farthing from him. as I heard. and desirous of seeing as many different parts of the world as I could. on which. well peopled. which was at last granted him. We then let him go. Before I had been long on the island. There was a vast number of negroes here. I pass over numerous other instances.com . when fortunately I observed it and snatched it out in time. 113 hh-bb. we could not get any remedy. In twenty-eight days time we arrived in England. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.
and I had no other place for this purpose but a little cabin. in his Majesty's sloop of war the Race Horse. I was surprised to see the number of Africans who were assembled together on Sundays. and a spark having touched a single thread of the tow. Dr. or the doctor's store-room. and put victuals. and to find. which placed me in a very aukward situation. conducted by the Honourable John Constantine Phipps. to seek new adventures. my shirt. in the same manner as in Africa. were burnt. and immediately the whole was in a blaze. Our ship having got her loading we sailed for London. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Or GustavusVassa. and expected to be the first to perish in the flames. When I came to Kingston. I had resolved to keep a journal of this singular and interesting voyage. that I had occasion to take the candle out of the lanthorn. In a moment the alarm was spread. all the rest caught the flame. 114 hh-bb. and threatened that he would put me in goal. They still retain most of their native customs: they bury their dead. but I had no alternative. Being now tired of the sea I gladly accepted it.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and the handkerchief on my neck. I was therefore obliged to submit. All rights are reserved. a passage to India. The ship was so filled that there was very little room on board for any one. We proceeded to Sheerness. the pole. I was very happy in living with this gentleman once more. and many other dangerous things. I saw nothing but present death before me. Unfortunately it happened in the evening as I was writing my journal. at another he would swear I was going to run away with his slaves. since Lord Mulgrave. On my return to London. where we arrived in the August following. I waited on my old and good master. particularly with tow and aquafortis. and many people who were near ran to assist in putting out the fire. when I was roused by the sound of fame. Irving. particularly at a large commodious place. commanded by Captain Lutwidge. we therefore prepared every thing for our voyage. On the 4th of June we sailed towards our destined place. pipes and tobacco. what our Creator never intended we should. where I slept.com . the 24th day of May 1773. and I attended him on board the Race Horse. I was astonished at this usage from a person who was in the situation of a gentleman. towards the north pole. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. who made me an offer of his service again. Here each different nation of Africa meet and dance after the manner of their own country. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and other things. in the grave with the corps. he was going each time to beat me. One time he would say I was going to set his house on fire. called Spring Path. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. My master being anxious for the reputation of this adventure. and on the 15th of the same month we were off Shetland. This little place was stuffed with all manner of combustibles. All this time I was in the very midst of the flames. An expedition was now fitting out to explore a north-east passage. where we were joined by his Majesty's sloop the Carcass. during which time we were daily employed in reducing old Neptune's dominions by purifying the briny element and making it fresh. which made me ever after during the voyage uncommonly cautious. when I demanded payment from him. Thus I went on till May 1773. On this day I had a great and unexpected deliverance from an accident which was near blowing up the ship and destroying the crew.
the reflection of the sun from the ice gave the clouds a most beautiful appearance. and strictly charged never more to go there with a light: and. some people brought blankets and mattresses and threw them on the flames. in a little time after. On the 20th of June we began to use Dr. and joined it. and constant daylight. brought up with it a number of others. 37. On the 29th and 30th of July we saw one continued plain of smooth unbroken ice. and as we sailed between north and east. the captain of a Greenland ship came on board. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and among the rest nine bears. though not without considerable fear and dread on my mind. Though they had nothing in their paunches but water yet they were all very fat. They all joined in an attack upon the boat. which neighed exactly like any other horses. We used to decoy them to the ship sometimes by burning feathers or skins. and was used on various occasions on board the ship. but some of the ship's company relished them very much.com . and also a great number of very large whales. well tasted. we made Greenland. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and in 19 or 20 degrees east longitude from London. Irving's apparatus for making salt water fresh. 78. One morning we had vast quantities of sea-horses about the ship. One of the ship's boats had before been attacked in the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. but at last. and told us of three ships that were lost in the ice. I was tempted again to venture by stealth with a light in the same cabin. when we were stopt by one compact impenetrable body of ice. We killed many different animals at this time. not being able to write my journal in any other part of the ship. we saw many very high and curious mountains of ice. and on the 27th we got as far north as 80. We had generally sunshine. The weather now became extremely cold. bounded only by the horizon. in order to take some. where I was surprised to see the sun did not set. and we fastened to a piece of ice that was eight yards eleven inches thick. they dispersed. I was severely reprimanded and menaced by such of the officers who knew it. after having wrested an oar from one of the men. The 30th. however we still held on our course till July the 11th. The water thus distilled was perfectly pure. and. indeed. We fired some harpoon guns amongst them. I thought them coarse eating.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. On the 28th of June. being in lat. fired at and wounded a sea-horse. and. which was our course. and free from salt. by which means in a short time the fire was put out. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as I was nearly giving up all hopes. which gave cheerfulness and novelty to the whole of this striking. All rights are reserved. even my own fears made me give heed to this command for a little time. Or GustavusVassa. grand. We ran along it from east to west above ten degrees. through God's mercy. and were with difficulty prevented from staving or oversetting her. I used to attend the distillery: I frequently purified from twenty-six to forty gallons a day. Some of our people once. which dived immediately. which used to come close to our ship. and I was almost smothered with the smoke. and uncommon scene. and blow the water up to a very great height in the air. but a boat from the Carcass having come to assist ours. but we could not get any. However. to heighten it still more. in the boat. 115 hh-bb.
Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. brought me gradually to think of eternity in such a manner as I never had done before. we made very little progress. to our infinite joy and gladness of heart. we sawed some of the ice about the ships to keep it from hurting them. and the ice broke towards the sea. and in the time of our utter need he heard us. and against hope or human probability delivered us! It was the eleventh day of the ships being thus fastened. which we accomplished in about thirty hours.N. which. but. same manner. and with all our might we hove the ships into every open water we could find. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. pale dejection seized every countenance. or the first boat he could meet. This seemed to us like a reprieve from death. many. and was very near being drowned.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and thereby I escaped drowning. This determination filled us with extreme dejection. Our appearance now became truly lamentable. The officers now held a council to know what was best for us to do in order to save our lives. but happily no harm was done. We then began to drag the boats as well as we could towards the sea.E. I had no hopes of my life being prolonged for any time. We remained hereabouts until the 1st of August.W. Or GustavusVassa. but providentially some people were near who gave me immediate assistance. which were now out of sight. and confounded us with despair. This made our situation very dreadful and alarming. and it was determined that we should endeavour to escape by dragging our boats along the ice towards the sea. of us. and some miles from the boats. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Many of us on this got on board again. and I really began to give up myself for lost. and now. that the wind changed to the E. after two or three days labour. Though we wounded several of these animals we never got but one. 116 hh-bb. While we were at this hard labour I once fell into a pond we had made amongst some loose ice.com . The weather immediately became mild. so that some of our hearts totally failed us. having a prospect of success. who had been before blasphemers. Our deplorable condition. in this our distress began to call on the good God of heaven for his help. and thus kept them in a kind of pond. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and shuddered at the thoughts of meeting the grim king of terrors in the ‘natural’ state I then was in. and was exceedingly doubtful of a happy eternity if I should die in it. for we saw that our existence could not be long on the ice after leaving the ships. for we had very little prospect of escaping with life. when the two ships got completely fastened in the ice. occasioned by the loose ice that set in from the sea. We then proceeded in this manner till we got into the open water again. was farther off than any of us thought. and made all the sail on them in our power. so that on the 7th day we were in very great apprehension of having the ships squeezed to pieces. we made signals for the boats and the remainder of the people. which was to the S. I had the fears of death hourly upon me. which kept up the constant apprehension of our perishing in the ice. and the fourth of our drawing the boats in this manner. All rights are reserved. when I saw our surrounding calamities. however. However. and happy was the man who could first get on board of any ship.
Two boats were washed from the booms. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and the long-boat from the chucks: all other moveable things on the deck were also washed away. among which were many curious things of different kinds which we had brought from Greenland. but all is one desolate and expanded waste of ice. and 20 degrees east longitude. so that we thought she would have gone down. Or GustavusVassa. September the 10th. it was dark by ten o'clock at night. in very great distress. laid her under water for some time. to toss some of our guns overboard. where the inhospitable climate affords neither food nor shelter. and one sea. at the imminent hazard of our lives. to the no small joy of all on board. in latitude 73. and on the 19th of August we sailed from this uninhabited extremity of the world. We now lost sight of the Carcass till the 26th. which even the constant beams of the sun for six months in the year cannot penetrate or dissolve. in which time. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. This made us work exceedingly hard at all our pumps a whole day. we met a very severe gale of wind and high seas. The sun now being on the decline the days shortened as we sailed to the southward. and we were obliged. and not a tree or shrub of any kind grows amongst its barren rocks. after having been absent four months. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. which struck the ship with more force than any thing I ever met with of the kind before. being much farther. off which place she joined us. and her masts were gone. than any navigator had ever ventured before. when we saw land about Orfordness.com . in order to lighten the ship. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. And thus ended our Arctic voyage. we explored nearly as far towards the Pole as 81 degrees north. on the 28th. All rights are reserved. and shipped a great deal of water in the space of ten hours. and on the 30th came up to Deptford. As soon as we were out of danger we came to anchor and refitted. in which we fully proved the impracticability of finding a passage that way to India. and. at the same time. in latitude 58-59. We saw a ship. by all accounts. From thence we sailed for London. but we were unable to assist her. 117 hh-bb.
and heartily thanked the Lord for directing me to London. particularly those of my last voyage. which made a lasting impression on my mind. Doctor Irving. for the fear of eternity daily harassed my mind. First I went among the Quakers. I rejoiced greatly. and knew not where to seek relief. and. which availed me nothing. at all events. something was wanting that I could not obtain. and to seek the Lord with full purpose of heart ere it was too late.’ Our voyage to the North Pole being ended. for many weeks: still I came away dissatisfied. However this was my conclusion. 'that would shew me any good. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Haymarket. during which I began seriously to reflect on the dangers I had escaped. not being able to find any person amongst my acquaintance that agreed with me in point of religion. I first frequented the neighbouring churches. two or three times a day. and I really found more heartfelt relief in reading my bible at home than in attending the church. I returned to London with Doctor Irving. All rights are reserved. and. I then searched into the Roman catholic principles. Thus I went on heavily without any guide to direct me the way that leadeth to Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I pursued other methods still. James's. the purifier of waters. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 118 hh-bb. to read the four evangelists. CHAPTER. so that I remained as much in the dark as ever. where I was determined to work out my own salvation. proved afterwards a mercy to me. and lodged in Coventry-court. ‘The author leaves Doctor Irving and engages on board a Turkey ship--Account of a black man's being kidnapped on board and sent to the West Indies. but was not in the least satisfied. with whom I continued for some time. it caused me to reflect deeply on my eternal state. I used every means for this purpose. In process of time I left my master. however. St. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. where I was continually oppressed and much concerned about the salvation of my soul. where the word of God was neither read or preached. At length I had recourse to the Jews. and others. being resolved to be saved.' I was much dejected. and I knew not where to seek shelter from the wrath to come. being the result of a mind blended by ignorance and sin. Or GustavusVassa. and the author's fruitless endeavours to procure his freedom--Some account of the manner of the author's conversion to the faith of Jesus Christ. or. X. and whatever sect or party I found adhering thereto such I would join. by the grace of God. and was determined (in my own strength) to be a first-rate Christian. and. in scripture language.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and in so doing procure a title to heaven.com .
and the chief comforts I enjoyed were in the musical French horn. commander of a ship called Anglicania. nor would all be damned. This man was on board the ship near two months doing his duty: he had formerly lived many years with Mr. and bound to Smyrna in Turkey. though he afterwards tried many schemes to inveigle the poor man. which I then practised. yet he did not in the least assist to recover him. April the fourth. and there to end my days. that I was convinced I excelled many of them in that point. at any rate. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. set a watch to look out. So righteous was I in my own eyes. Kirkpatrick came to our ship at Union Stairs on Easter Monday. William Kirkpatrick. where he lived. although they had desired the oppressed man to stay on board.com . or pay me a farthing of his wages. and found a captain John Hughes. and finding those who in general termed themselves Christians not so honest or so good in their morals as the Turks. that they might not know me. and could not find any at that time more righteous than myself. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. in the presence of the crew and the chief mate. who was about setting off for Scotland. I thought we should not all be saved (this is agreeable to the holy scriptures). Mr. a gentleman of the island of St. Paul's church-yard. I believe that this was a combined piece of business: but. but unluckily she had sailed the first tide after he was put on board. as a cook. I shipped myself with him as a steward. I proved the only friend he had. fitting out in the river Thames. at the same time I recommended to him a very clever black man. Kitts to trepan him. I really thought the Turks were in a safer way of salvation than my neighbours: so that between hopes and fears I went on. My intention was then immediately to apprehend Mr. All rights are reserved. and. Such was my situation some months. Kirkpatrick. My being known to them occasioned me to use the following deception: I whitened my face. who. and when all their attempts and schemes of kidnapping proved abortive. He had applied to many captains who traded to St. John Annis. from whom he parted by consent. I sent as soon as I could to Gravesend. and also dressing of hair. It was now early in the spring 1774. who had detained him after he had notice to come away.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. or indeed so much inclined to devotion. and got a tipstaff to go with me to St. I sought for a master. Or GustavusVassa. I found none among the circle of my acquaintance that kept wholly the ten commandments. it certainly reflected great disgrace on the mate and captain also. Kitts. he. and got knowledge of the ship in which he was. He did not go out of his house that night. and this had its desired effect. having learned that the man was on board. experiencing the dishonesty of many people here. Here I was much staggered. 119 hh-bb. which was about five pounds. and was told different ways. and next morning I contrived a well plotted stratagem notwithstanding he had a gentleman in his house to personate Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and forcibly took him away from the ship. suspecting something of this kind. with two wherry boats and six men. I asked different people questions about the manner of going to heaven. I determined at last to set out for Turkey. and tied. having obtained a ‘habeas corpus’ for him. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. eternal life. who attempted to regain him his liberty if possible. having known the want of liberty myself. by keeping eight out of ten.
Thus I continued to travel in much heaviness. my mind was unaccountably disturbed. when deep sleep falleth upon men. In these severe conflicts the Lord answered me by awful 'Visions of the night. 120 hh-bb. And what was appointed for me I must submit to.' Eccles. at that time. Hughes.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. in slumberings upon the bed.' Job xxxiii. he took my money. where I saw that: 'There is no new thing under the sun. Mr. Or GustavusVassa. and being much concerned about the state of my soul. in the same state in which he remained till kind death released him out of the hands of his tyrants. I was again determined to go to Turkey. My direction to the tipstaff. 9. but was prevented by means of my late captain. was to conduct him to a judge. I often wished for death. though at the same time convinced I was altogether unprepared for that awful summons. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. 15. these things (but particularly the latter) brought me very low. in reading the holy scriptures. and afterwards loaded cruelly with irons about his neck.com . who saw him in St. and. Esq. and resolved. lost me many months employ. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. with the warmest sense of gratitude towards Mr. who received me with the utmost kindness. Granville Sharp. Sharp for his kindness. When he came there. on which he was admitted to bail. that he had not the body in custody. particularly in his providential dealings. and also was told of it by some very respectable families now in London. and frequently murmured against the Almighty. and others. Capt. according to the writ. and two on his ancles. Suffering much by villains in the late cause. Kitts. while he was in this situation. and the only comfort I then experienced was. Kitts. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. awful to think! I began to blaspheme. and viewed all things around me as emptiness and vanity. During this disagreeable business I was under strong convictions of sin. his plea was. I left him in full hope that I should gain the unhappy man his liberty. i. and did not do the least good in the cause: and when the poor man arrived at St. who got admittance into the house. he was. staked to the ground with four pins through a cord. Linna). but. him. was cut and flogged most unmercifully. so that I became a burden to myself. two on his wrists. and wished often to be any thing but a human being. and gave me every instruction that was needful on the occasion. All rights are reserved. which could give no satisfaction to a troubled conscience. and thought that my state was worse than any man's. alas! my attorney proved unfaithful. All this appeared to be against me. according to custom. I engaged as steward on board a Turkeyman (the Wester Hall. never more to return to England. I proceeded immediately to that philanthropist. I had two very moving letters from him.
He began to discourse with me. that 'no unclean person. and that day as I was walking. 'Before they call. than abuse them and be cast into hell fire. if there were any holier than those with whom I was acquainted. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and was ready to say to the mountains and rocks 'fall on me. I thought. he joined our discourse. I prayed to be directed. where I heard the gospel preached. the sense of God's mercies was so great on my mind when I awoke. and being on praying ground. To which I replied. rather than stay amongst the wicked ones. whether I did not wish to love him more. they were given me to glorify God with. I then requested the divine Creator that he would grant me a small space of time to repent of my follies and vile iniquities. then I saw the word of God verified. the reader may easily discern. and in some measure to understand. or whether I went at all or not. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. that the Lord would point them out to me. in his manifold mercies. which I felt were grievous. Or GustavusVassa. 'I attended St. I appealed to the Searcher of hearts. can enter into the kingdom of God. and in that memorable hour there came in a dissenting minister. but all in vain. and serve him better. it pleased God to direct me to a house where there was an old sea-faring man. Here I had more questions to put to the man than his time would permit him to answer. therefore. if it had been possible. have changed my nature with the meanest worm on the earth. and being yet in a state of time. I left the house in the day. the great and awful scene of the judgment-day. At length I hated the house in which I lodged.' Rev. vi. was pleased to grant my request. and while they are yet speaking. and. 121 hh-bb. to give me to see. Notwithstanding all this. I invoked Heaven from my inmost soul. if he is a believer. no unholy thing. I will hear. I told him I had read the gospel: and he asked where I went to church. and I was exceedingly weak. v. I had better want them here.' Eph. who experienced much of the love of God shed abroad in his heart. who is long-suffering. and saw clearly what a bad use I had made of the faculties I was endowed with. and indeed I had never heard before the love of Christ to believers set forth in such a manner. because God's most holy name was blasphemed in it. I felt that I was altogether unholy.com . Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. but not having a convenient place for retirement.' I had a great desire to read the bible the whole day at home. condescended to hear and answer. his conversation rejoiced me greatly. and in so clear a point of view. as I desired to love the Lord. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and full of compassion to such poor rebels as we are. in much mercy. and enter into life eternal. that I was still in nature's darkness. I would then. and fervently begged that God would never again permit me to blaspheme his most holy name. viz. 5. I knew not what he meant by hearing the gospel. among others. The Lord.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. All rights are reserved. This was the first spiritual mercy I ever was sensible of. I will answer. and got out of bed and dressed myself. He was pleased. that my strength entirely failed me for many minutes. as soon as I recovered a little strength. and asked me some few questions. The Lord. 16.
as he belonged to the place. I also wished much for the company of these friendly men. Thus we parted. I wished to be as happy as them. I knew not what to make of this sight. I was so amazed as not to know what to think of the company. much was said by every speaker of the providence of God.' said he. to have it in a chapel! When the wished-for hour came I went. some persons in the place produced some neat baskets full of buns. I accepted the offer. and St. and wished to live and die thus. 19. I assured him I would be there. and his unspeakable mercies. did well harmonize. and I weighed over the heavenly conversation that had passed between these two men. This kind of Christian fellowship I had never seen. All rights are reserved. who kindly seated me. and could most heartily join them. and thanked him. nor ever thought of seeing on earth. and happily the old man was there. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I had some further discourse with the old Christian. a stranger. and soon after he went away. to a feast. in asking me. which cheered my then heavy and drooping spirit more than any thing I had met with for many months. it fully reminded me of what I had read in the holy scriptures. having never seen any thing of the kind in my life before now. James's. this entertainment (which lasted about four hours) ended in singing and prayer. 'you are a churchman.' 1 John v. which they distributed about. It was the first soul feast I ever was present at. intermingled with admiration. which made me exceedingly happy. But when they spoke of a future state. or pluck them out of his hands. and that no one could ever separate them from the love of Christ. I was much astonished to see the place filled with people. and I thought the gentlemen very kind. and no signs of eating and drinking. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. to each of them. In partaking of it. and each person communicated with his neighbour. &c. This I knew in a great measure. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Lastly. even from house to house. and sipped water out of different mugs. However.'--'So. their company pleased me much. I thought the time long in going to my supposed banquet. in short. which they handed about to all who were present. 122 hh-bb. This filled me with utter consternation. but how singular did it appear to me.' I answered. He then invited me to a love-feast at his chapel that evening. There were many ministers in the company. I was. agreeable to what I read in the Scriptures. St. Some of the guests began to speak their experience. my heart was attracted and my affections were enlarged. When I left him he reminded me of coming to the feast.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Martin's. who loved each other and broke bread.com . Soho. added to some profitable reading. and was persuaded in my mind that they were different from the world 'that lieth in wickedness. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. of the primitive Christians. Their language and singing. I was entirely overcome. they seemed to be altogether certain of their calling and election of God. and between the singing the minister engaged in prayer. At last they began by giving out hymns. Or GustavusVassa. Ann's.
&c. where the name of God was continually profaned. blasphemous sinner in the path that he knew not of.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved.com . a gracious woman. they both invited me to call on them when I pleased. the old man. &c. This was quickly heard and answered. or when the Judge of all. Their discourse was amazingly delightful. After having been an eye-witness to some of the happiness which attended those who feared God. I sat down. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I knew not at last how to leave this agreeable pair. sleeping and waking. and I took care to make all the improvement from it I could. and I viewed those persons alone blessed who were found ready at midnight call. to return to my lodgings. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and the way of salvation by Christ alone was evidently set forth. I paused in my mind for some time. to see my new and worthy acquaintance. that I could not but admire the goodness of God. however. I knew not how. even among the just. in praying to him for salvation. Thus I went on happily for near two months. and I once heard. in parting. 123 hh-bb. whether to hire a bed elsewhere. and pleasant. (through rich mercy) he found. The poor man came over the sea to London. and instead of judgment he has shewed mercy. and if I perished I thought it should be at the feet of Jesus. who. Mr. with any propriety. they seemed mutually happy. Or GustavusVassa. I went home. and the thoughts of my heart and actions were laid open by the preachers. The next day I took courage. or go home again. fearing an evil report might arise. At last. a reverend gentleman speak of a man who had departed this life in full assurance of his Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. The above book was of great use to me. judgment and mercy. and both quite glad to see me. and had not his journey in vain. to inquire after the Christian's God. and will hear and answer the prayers and supplications of every returning prodigal: O! to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrain'd to be! After this I was resolved to win Heaven if possible. with a farewell to card-playing and vain jesting. and we conversed much about soul matters. at which I felt the greatest horror. both quick and dead. I saw that time was very short. I heard the gospel preached. As I was going they lent me a little book. and very near. This last twenty-four hours produced me things. This delighted me. C----. in directing the blind. with his wife. and so far I thanked God for such company and desires. were at work at silk weaving. till time summoned me away. and I was soon connected with those whom the scripture calls the excellent of the earth. during this period. he. not knowing what to do. and went to Holborn. entitled "The Conversion of an Indian. and at that time was a means of strengthening my faith. edifying. and that I might be weaned from my former carnal acquaintances. eternity long. and I more so to see them. cometh. I prayed that the many evils I felt within might be done away. spiritual and temporal." It was in questions and answers.
Or GustavusVassa. from Lam. he also shewed the justice of God in the eternal punishment of the wicked and impenitent. I told him it was very mysterious.' I answered I was. I was much astonished at the assertion. 'I perceive you are a churchman.preached.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I thought the prayer very short and odd. and puzzled me much for many weeks. nor could I. I knew not what to think of this report. and brought into such a dilemma as I never expected. he clearly shewed that a living man had no cause to complain for the punishment of his sins. that I prayed to God every day. for God would appear faithful in his judgments to the wicked. I requested him to tell me how I might know when my sins were forgiven me. and quoted many portions of scripture immediately to the point. as he would be faithful in shewing mercy to those who were ordained to it before the world was. whether he was sure to enter the kingdom of God? and added. and that none but God alone could do this. I was answered fully. as I thought I kept eight commandments out of ten. The discourse seemed to me like a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. 'Do you ‘know’ that your sins are forgiven you?' He answered in the affirmative. 39. but he said it was really matter of fact. before I died. it brought me to a stand. In a short time after this I went to Westminster chapel. and the sins of those chosen vessels ‘were already’ atoned for and forgiven them whilst living. not knowing which to believe. that if I did not experience the new birth. through the blood of Christ. &c. I asked him.' who alone could and did keep the commandments. I was much wounded at this discourse. He assured me he could not. Then confusion. I then asked my friend. why the commandments of God were given. and did very deliberately inquire how he could get at this knowledge. I wished that God would reveal this self same thing unto me. even those to whom he had given a living faith. He then desired me to pray to God to shew me these things. 124 hh-bb. P---. for I thought it a hard saying. he evidently justified the Lord in all his dealings with the sons of men. and could not help thinking how it was possible for a man to know that his sins were forgiven him in this life. to which I could make no reply. Mr. L----d. who was a clerk in a chapel. so we parted for that time. I weighed all these things well over.' &c. 'The law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. that no man ever did or could keep the commandments. agreeable to what I read in the oracles of truth. therefore Christ Jesus seemed to be all in all to that man's soul. if ‘he’ was to die that moment. All rights are reserved. and the pardon of my sins. and discontent seized me. and he added. and fulfilled all their requirements for his elect people. He said. if we could not be saved by them? To which he replied. I thought this sounded very strange. I could not enter the kingdom of heaven. then my worthy interpreter told me I did not do it. without offending in one point. and was told also. and I staggered much at this sort of doctrine. He then entreated me to beg of God to shew me what I was. the Lord would say at that great day to me 'Go ye cursed. the Rev. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. It was a wonderful sermon. whether salvation by works or by faith only in Christ. and the true state of my soul. iii.com . The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. going to glory. I answered. Mr. anger. and if I did not experience the same before my exit.
intermingled with many fears. Or GustavusVassa. for the minister exhorted me much. Now I thought much of my good works. about my soul. I engaged as steward of a ship called the Hope. and I was better off in the world than many. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I addressed the reverend gentleman. not to neglect fervent prayer to God. with many thanks. I thought if I sinned again. bound from London to Cadiz in Spain.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. nor was I likely to get a situation suitable for me. Then I paused. the first thing he asked me was. what I knew of Christ? I told him I believed in him. could enter the kingdom of Heaven. the ensuing week. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. After this I began to fear death. I went to the chapel. mourned. All rights are reserved. two-edged sword cutting all ways. lest I should catch the horrible infection. and reminded me of the shortness of time. However. thinking. and at the same time was doubtful of my being a proper object to receive the sacrament.'--'Then. which obliged me to go once more to sea. but that I sometimes swore on board ship. and sometimes when on shore. thinking to drown myself. I should certainly go to hell.' said he. When I conversed with him. that one sin unatoned for was as sufficient to damn a soul as one leak was to sink a ship.' said he. and had been baptized in his name. but recommended me to read the scriptures.com . One day I was standing on the very edge of the stern of the ship. Again I was convinced that the Lord was better to me than I deserved. he gave it out that he intended. 15. though much distressed. My mind was uncommonly chagrined. and that no unregenerate soul. and. to examine all those who meant to attend the Lord's table.' Then he assured me. 125 hh-bb. and wished I had never been born. 'Then. till I became a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.' 1 John iii. so far as the Lord would condescend to enable me. he that offends in one point is guilty of all?' I said. and I feared greatly. that I could not be saved by what I had done.'do you not read in the bible. if I was not right. or any thing unclean. after having life and death set evidently before me. and hear the word preached. He did not admit me as a communicant. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 'Yes. Here I was struck with awe. and thought myself the unhappiest man living. and broke the sabbath. I was full of meditation till the day of examining. and I wished to be annihilated. it afforded me much joy. and I murmured much at God's providential dealings with me. Capt. he would endeavour to convince me of it. Richard Strange. and prayed. He then asked me if I could read? I answered. and resolved to follow his advice. who has promised to hear the supplications of those who seek him in godly sincerity. confusion seized me. I hated all things. and the length of eternity. In a short time after I was on board I heard the name of God much blasphemed. I fretted. I told him I kept eight commandments out of ten. so I took my leave of him. and when it was ended. 'Yes. 'when were you brought to the knowledge of God? and how were you convinced of sin?' I knew not what he meant by these questions. During this time I was out of employ. but this scripture was instantly impressed on my mind--'that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. and was discontented with the commandments.
who had declared in his word that he would hear the groanings and deep sighs of the poor in spirit. but each time gave me greater and greater encouragement to continue with him. sin. I saw clearly with the eye of faith the crucified Saviour bleeding on the cross on mount Calvary: the scriptures became an unsealed book. At last some of my religious friends advised me. The Spanish galloons frequent that port. and I found favour with the captain. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I wrestled hard with God in fervent prayer. and read the eleventh chapter of the Hebrews to me. and that God was not confined to place. The place is strong. consequently it was my duty to obey. and some arrived whilst we were there. by saying it was my lawful calling. as Jacob did: I prayed that if sudden death were to happen. I had many opportunities of reading the scriptures. He prayed for me. I thought that I should either see or hear something supernatural. but still meditating on the subject. and I believed that he prevailed on my behalf. and shame. not knowing whether salvation was to be had partly for our own good deeds. I began to think I had lived a moral life.com . it might be at Christ's feet. as my burden was then greatly removed. and I died. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. but more so to myself. I found this verified to my utter astonishment and comfort in the following manner: On the morning of the 6th of October. we had a delightful voyage to Cadiz. under the solemn apprehensions of eternity. and I entreated the captain three different times to discharge me. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. who pitied my case. particularly Mr. and reflecting on my past actions. as I was reading and meditating on the fourth chapter of the Acts. loaded and bearing my reproach. 126 hh-bb. and the next day I went on board again. The good man gave me a pocket Bible and Allen's Alarm to the unconverted. commands a fine prospect. which came with its full force to my conscience.S. and in an instant as it were.' I saw the Lord Jesus Christ in his humiliation. (I pray you to attend) or all that day. or solely as the sovereign gift of God. and I perished. G. and when 'the commandment came sin revived. and all on board shewed me very great civility: notwithstanding all this I was unwilling to embark again. removing the veil. At length I concluded to beg my bread on shore rather than go again to sea amongst a people who feared not God. and that I had a proper ground to believe I had an interest in the divine favour. In the evening of the same day. twelfth verse. It pleased God to enable me to wrestle with him. &c. the governor of Tothil-fields Bridewell. with exhortations. I had a secret impulse on my mind of something that was to take place. which drove me continually for that time to a throne of grace. and is very rich. where we arrived the twenty-third of the same month. in this deep consternation the Lord was pleased to break in upon my soul with his bright beams of heavenly light. It was the fourth of the month of September when we sailed from London. We sailed for Spain. Or GustavusVassa. We parted. &c. I saw myself a condemned criminal under the law. I then clearly perceived that by the deeds of the law no flesh living could be justified. he would not. and letting light into a dark place. and I found a heartfelt resignation to the will of God. burden to others. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. All rights are reserved.
Now the bible was my only companion and comfort. It was given me at that time to know what it was to be born again. When I considered my poor wretched state I wept. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. It pleased God to pour out on me the Spirit of prayer and the grace of supplication. which guided and protected me when in truth I knew it not: still the Lord pursued me although I slighted and disregarded it. I became a barbarian to them in talking of the love of Christ: his name was to me as ointment poured forth. the burden of sin. and good works he had none. for it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do. but to them a rock of offence. with many thanks to God that I could read it for myself. 5. being without God and without hope. from the day I was taken from my parents to that hour. yea sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. and unchangeable purposes. This was indeed unspeakable. Or GustavusVassa. and said. I was bathed in tears. verified agreeable to his eternal. Christ was revealed to my soul as the chiefest among ten thousand. Now the Ethiopian was willing to be saved by Jesus Christ. the gaping jaws of hell. now lost their horror. What am I that God should thus look on me the vilest of sinners? I felt a deep concern for my mother and friends. I had uncommon commotions within. I thought my case singular. These heavenly moments were really as life to the dead. I prized it much. All rights are reserved. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. indeed I thought death would now be the best earthly friend I ever had. and every hour a day until I came to London. for I much longed to be with some to whom I could tell of the wonders of God's love towards me.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and what John calls an earnest of the Spirit[V]. so that in loud acclamations I was enabled to praise and glorify his most holy name. and join in prayer to him whom my soul loved and thirsted after. seeing what a great debtor I was to sovereign free grace. The word of God was sweet to my taste. Self was obnoxious. Now every leading providential circumstance that happened to me. and told some of the people what the Lord had done for me. and also to rely on none other person or thing for salvation. and I firmly believe undeniable by many. I was then convinced that by the first Adam sin came. and the fears of death. and. in the abyss of thought. I viewed the unconverted people of the world in a very awful state. this mercy melted me down. who could understand me or believe my report!-None but to whom the arm of the Lord was revealed. I saw the eighth chapter to the Romans. the sinner's only surety. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. everlasting. which occasioned me to pray with fresh ardour. John iii. The worth of a soul cannot be told. alas. I was sensible of the invisible hand of God. The amazing things of that hour can never be told--it was joy in the Holy Ghost! I felt an astonishing change. 127 hh-bb. When I got out of the cabin. and was not left to be tossed about or led by man's devices and notions. such as few can tell aught about. indeed it was sweet to my soul. and by the second Adam (the Lord Jesus Christ) all that are saved must be made alive.--May the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Such were my grief and joy as I believe are seldom experienced. as if it had but just then occurred. was then in my view. that weighed me down before. and the doctrines of God's decrees.com .
for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. the great One in Three. 6. 12. On my return I had but one text which puzzled me. We sailed about the fourth of November. and enabled me to believe to the salvation of my soul. Titus i. and. agreeable to Acts iv. were the precious promises that were so powerfully applied to me: 'All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer. One day I went to Blackfriars church. 15. These. but only Christ Jesus. By free grace I was persuaded that I had a part in the first resurrection.' Job xxxiii. and the well of salvation. Rom. and was 'enlightened with the light of the living. to my comfort. ye shall receive. those oracles of everlasting truth. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. among others. ' May God give the reader a right understanding in these facts! To him that believeth all things are possible.' John xiv. to my great satisfaction and surprise. Hitherto he hath helped me: and could say to the sinners about me. Lord give the reader an understanding in this. and Three in One. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and. and. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. or that the devil endeavoured to buffet me with. having a good passage. he preached from that very text.' Mat. with heartfelt gratitude to God for his rich and unspeakable mercies. seeing my spots were Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. These glad tidings set me entirely at liberty. and many texts were immediately applied to me with great comfort. Sure I was that the Spirit which indited the word opened my heart to receive the truth of it as it is in Jesus--that the same Spirit enabled me to act faith upon the promises that were so precious to me.com . for I knew that to me was the word of salvation sent. which is according to God's sovereign will and pleasure. saying. xi. my peace I give unto you. 12: 'Neither is there salvation in any other. and he had made crooked paths straight. confirmed in the truths of the bible. by the teaching of that all-glorious Deity. Canticles vi. but to them that are unbelieving nothing is pure. 'Peace I leave with you. I saw the blessed Redeemer to be the fountain of life. he had brought me by a way that I knew not. Then in his name I set up my Ebenezer.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Behold what a Saviour I have! Thus I was. I experienced him all in all. on which every soul living must stand or fall eternally. and I went out of the church rejoicing. Whenever I looked in the bible I saw things new. All rights are reserved. and his great knowledge in the scriptures. During this period we remained at Cadiz until our ship got laden. He very clearly shewed the difference between human works and free election. xxi. I wished much to hear him preach. Romaine. 22. we arrived in London the month following. 30. 128 hh-bb. viz. 27. believing. Or GustavusVassa. I wished for a man of God with whom I might converse: my soul was like the chariots of Aminidab. as I had heard of the Reverend Mr.
And as I grew my griefs have grown: Dangers were always in my path. of the Necessity of believing the Truth.S----. 'But O! not all that I could do Would stop the current of my woe. 'To ease my mind I often strove. who was a man of a choice spirit. alas! I must wait mine appointed time. by grief constrain'd. Well may I say my life has been One scene of sorrow and of pain. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. G---. and sometimes death. and utter'd sighs between-Assay'd to stifle guilt with sin. Or GustavusVassa. and was received into church fellowship amongst them: I rejoiced in spirit. And tried my trouble to remove: I sung. who were glad when they perceived the wonderful change that the Lord had wrought in me.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. 129 hh-bb. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. From early days I griefs have known. I went to Westminster Chapel. All rights are reserved. I was again examined at that same chapel. I enjoyed his correspondence till he died in the year 1784. And fear of wrath. By an unjust and cruel band. particularly Mr. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. How did uncommon dread prevail! My sighs no more I could conceal. While pale dejection in me reign'd I often wept. * * * * * MISCELLANEOUS VERSES. my worthy acquaintance. making melody in my heart to the God of all my mercies.com . Conviction still my vileness shew'd. and had great zeal for the Lord's service. and experiencing the inestimable Benefits of Christianity. and saw some of my old friends. or Reflections on the State of my mind during my first Convictions. those of God's children. Now my whole wish was to be dissolved. When taken from my native land. and to be with Christ--but.
a bowing wall thought myself ere since the fall. I thought the place that gave me birth-Strange thoughts oppress'd--while I replied "Why not in Ethiopia died?" And why thus spared. Troubled my thoughts. An orphan state I had to mourn. that I could not die. Or GustavusVassa. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. anger. How bless'd were they compar'd to me!' Thus all things added to my pain. nigh to hell?-God only knew--I could not tell! 'A tott'ring fence. How great my guilt--how lost from God! 'Prevented. With legions of such ills beside. Lord! Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. All rights are reserved. 'Lust. And often pray'd unto the Lord. While grief compell'd me to complain. more than some on earth.' 'Oft times I mused. blasphemy.com . and pride.-Forsook by all. ever free. The English nation call'd to leave. When sable clouds began to rise My mind grew darker than the skies. While birds melodious fill'd the air: Thrice happy songsters. 130 hh-bb. How did my breast with sorrows heave! I long'd for rest--cried "Help me.' while doubts and fears Clouded and darken'd most my years. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Nor might to one kind refuge fly.' Unhappy. and left forlorn. but check'd the word.' Those who beheld my downcast mien Could not guess at my woes unseen: They by appearance could not know The troubles that I waded through. nigh despair. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 'Sighs now no more would be confin'd-They breath'd the trouble of my mind: I wish'd for death.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.
Nothing my anxious mind relieve. griefs. and foes. could comfort give." Hard hap. And numerous foes I had to prove. But O! deliver from despair!" Strivings and wrestlings seem'd in vain. Train'd up 'midst perils.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. still I went-Heart-throbbing woes within were pent. Surely. A beam from Christ. and more than heavy lot! I pray'd to God "Forget me not-What thou ordain'st willing I'll bear. shin'd. afford!" Yet on. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Lord. and in my blood!' Yet here. Conscious of guilt.' He dy'd for sinners--I am one! Might not his blood for me atone? Tho' I am nothing else but sin. Or GustavusVassa. thought I. if Jesus please. yet unknown To all but God and self alone. 'Forgot for why his blood was shed. All rights are reserved. I stood-'Lost in the world. Nothing I did could ease my pain: Then gave I up my works and will. and self-condemned. I. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. of sin and fear. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Confess'd and own'd my doom was hell! Like some poor pris'ner at the bar. the day-star. Set up my labours in its place. Nor land. I said "Must it thus ever be?-No quiet is permitted me. and woes. Weary with travail. nor sea. deaths. Arraign'd. Some mitigation. And pray'd and fasted in its stead. dejected.com . Inur'd to dangers. ignorant of his righteousness. Numerous months for peace I strove. 131 hh-bb. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. He can at once sign my release.'midst blackest clouds confin'd.
Myself forgot. O Jesus. nor by the law:-I this have seen. for now I know I and my works can nothing do. no more I groan'd. then I come!" the Saviour cry'd. 13.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. 12. for then I found a rest! My soul and Christ were now as one-Thy light. &c. and pray'r. 14.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. in me shone! Bless'd be thy name. Yet surely he can make me clean! Thus light came in. bow'd his head and dy'd! He dy'd for all who ever saw No help in them. and gladly own "Salvation is by Christ alone[W]!" FOOTNOTES: [Footnote V: John xvi. "The Lord alone can ransom man-For this the spotless Lamb was slain!" When sacrifices. For. eas'd from guilt. O. All rights are reserved. happy hour.] [Footnote W: Acts iv. 132 hh-bb.com . Or GustavusVassa. "Lo. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and I believ'd. bleeding. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Prov'd vain. in which I ceas'd To mourn. and help receiv'd! My Saviour then I know I found. and ineffectual were. And. works.
I was entreated by the captain to go in her once more. until we arrived off the Bay of Cadiz. ‘The author embarks on board a ship bound for Cadiz--Is near being shipwrecked--Goes to Malaga--Remarkable fine cathedral there--The author disputes with a popish priest--Picking up eleven miserable men at sea in returning to England--Engages again with Doctor Irving to accompany him to Jamaica and the Mosquito Shore--Meets with an Indian prince on board--The author attempts to instruct him in the truths of the Gospel--Frustrated by the bad example of some in the ship--They arrive on the Mosquito Shore with some slaves they purchased at Jamaica. the advice of my friends at last prevailed. I for some time refused. All rights are reserved. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Although I could not swim. and saw no way of escaping death. In an instant all hands were in the greatest confusion. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. But the fulness of time was not yet come. My soul each storm defies.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. which is the next to the keel. 133 hh-bb. XI. and these words were that instant in my mind: "Christ is my pilot wise. the ship struck against a rock and knocked off a garboard plank. CHAPTER. which through sovereign grace I enjoyed. and began with loud cries to call on God to have mercy on them. but. who leaves the shore and goes for Jamaica--Is barbarously treated by a man with whom he engaged for his passage--Escapes and goes to the Mosquito admiral.com . while I have such a Lord. however. when one Sunday. without any material accident. and. I felt no dread in my then situation. and begin to cultivate a plantation--Some account of the manners and customs of the Mosquito Indians--Successful device of the author's to quell a riot among them--Curious entertainment given by them to Doctor Irving and the author.’ When our ship was got ready for sea again. but I told them of the peace of God. having no desire to live. as I felt myself now as happy as I could wish to be in this life. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. thinking this death would be sudden glory. The people near to me were much astonished in seeing me thus calm and resigned. in full resignation to the will of God. who treats him kindly--He gets another vessel and goes on board--Instances of bad treatment--Meets Doctor Irving--Gets to Jamaica--Is cheated by his captain--Leaves the Doctor and goes for England. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Or GustavusVassa. I again embarked for Cadiz in March 1775. just as we were going into the harbour. I even rejoiced in spirit. my compass is his word. We had a very good passage.
we proceeded to Cadiz. When we had dispatched our business at Cadiz. and declared that I should have my education free. who seeing our condition. 134 hh-bb. where we took about two tons more of money. and that Pope Benedict was a black man. So we parted without conviction on either side. which was very wrong. Having taken at this place some fine wines. and from thence to Malaga. though it was not then quite finished. as I could not in conscience conform to the opinions of his church. a very pleasant and rich city. which says. and told me. and other diversions which prevailed here on Sunday evenings. fruits. It had been above fifty years in building. To save me in the trying hour. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Though rocks and quicksands deep through all my passage lie. these. and money. if I got myself made a priest. in which he took great pains to make a proselyte of me to his church. Or GustavusVassa. As I was ever desirous of learning. I might in time become even pope. were only used on some of their grand festivals. After many tides. and providentially it was then high water. was completed and highly decorated with the richest marble columns and many superb paintings. I had frequent contests about religion with the reverend father. great part of the inside. to the great scandal of Christianity and morals. a number of them came alongside of us. In his zeal for my conversion. How can I sink with such a prop. As many hands as could be employed began to work. we went to Gibraltar.com . as I heard. I trust his faithfulness and power. I paused for some time upon this temptation. he solicited me to go to one of the universities in Spain. where there is one of the finest cathedrals I had ever seen. and that every person there read the Bible. but I began to think that it would be only hypocrisy in me to embrace his offer. Yet Christ shall safely keep and guide me with his eye.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. There being only a single rock called the Porpus on which we struck. we got her repaired again. some of which were as thick as a man's thigh. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and then sailed for Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.' and refused Father Vincent's offer. however. however. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I was therefore enabled to regard the word of God. some at our three pumps. That bears the world and all things up?" At this time there were many large Spanish flukers or passage-vessels full of people crossing the channel. but I answered him that Christ desired us to search the Scriptures. and shew him in what points his church erred. I used to express my abhorrence of it to a priest whom I met with. He then said he had been in England. with a great deal of care and industry. and I no less to convert him to mine. 'Come out from amongst them. and thought by being crafty I might catch some with guile. and the rest unloading the ship as fast as possible. All rights are reserved. On these occasions I used to produce my Bible. I was very much shocked at the custom of bull-baiting. we therefore run the ship ashore at the nearest place to keep her from sinking. it was lighted occasionally by an amazing number of wax tapers of different sizes. we soon got off it. &c.
thanked God for their deliverance. Hungry and thirsty. and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. we however stopped the ship's way. their souls fainted in them. and I recollected his words. as the waves were high. the man at the helm cried out. To all human appearance. which was extremely small. as we were not in want of any thing on board. and the boat. yet it was fair for some others. and exactly at half past one o'clock. and. for he is good. and I trust that my prayers were not wanting amongst them at the same time. the following day at noon. reproached him. And he led them forth by the right way. This made the captain exceeding fretful and peevish: and I was very sorry to hear God's most holy name often blasphemed by him. and though the wind was contrary for us. They cried unto Lord in their trouble. When we were about the north latitude 42. they bowed themselves on their knees. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. As soon as we got them all on board. 'Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death: Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but he replied not a word. and the ship did not make in that time above six or seven miles straight course. perhaps. these people must have perished in the course of one hour or less. I expected that the captain would be very angry with me for speaking. This mercy of the Lord quite melted me. for we ought to be thankful to God for all things. and that he had done all things well. came alongside with eleven miserable men. being the 21st of June. and said he acted wrong. who. as he was in that impious mood. or any other necessary whatsoever. However.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. just as we had dined in the cabin. The preceding night I dreamed that I saw a boat immediately off the starboard main shrouds. while I was below. it barely contained them. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. it was as much as we could do sometimes to discern her. When we took them up they were half drowned. and. England in the month of June. stood in more need of it than we. I immediately seconded this young gentleman with some boldness. so that they were obliged to trust entirely to the mercy of the waves. whose ways with his blind creatures are past finding out. we saw the providential hand of our benign Creator. I was the first man that jumped on the deck. that they might go to a city of habitation. much to our great joy and astonishment. which I saw thus verified in the 107th Psalm 'O give thanks unto the Lord. for his mercy endureth for ever. and that right before the wind. for that the Lord was better to us than we deserved. before that time on the following day. we had contrary wind for several days. looking from the shrouds onward. 135 hh-bb. One day. Or GustavusVassa. water. O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul. compass. according to my dream. whom we took on board immediately. with hands and voices lifted up to heaven. and said we had not the least cause to murmur. the boat being small. and had no victuals. I descried a little boat at some distance. and had only one bit of an oar to steer with. All rights are reserved. a young gentleman on board. A boat! which brought my dream that instant into my mind. but. who was a passenger.com . and he delivered them out of their distresses.
and how these eleven got into the boat (which was lashed to the deck) not one of them could tell. and had just an opportunity to take some of them once to church before we sailed. and he could put even two or three of them together and spell them. and hoped to be the instrument. They told us they were Portuguese. on board of the sloop Morning Star. to my great joy. 'Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble. that do business in great waters: these see the works of the Lord. In our passage. and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. bought a remarkable fine sloop. One of them was the Musquito king's son. Or GustavusVassa. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. asked me to go with him. of which he was entirely ignorant.com . of my friends. he was quite attentive. When I came to talk to them about eight days before we sailed. We embarked in the month of November 1775.'that the Lord is good. seeing that I am not fit to die. when my old friend. till November. 136 hh-bb. and received with gladness the truths that the Lord enabled me to set forth to him.' I was very glad to hear this expression. which shifted that morning at five o'clock. even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord. he therefore gave me a space of time to repent. nor was any attention paid to their morals.' The poor distressed captain said. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Captain David Miller. a youth of about eighteen years of age. They that go down to the sea in ships. All rights are reserved. and took an opportunity when convenient of talking to him on the providence of God. Whoso is wise and will observe these things. about 150 tons. By the advice. Before I embarked. I was happy once more amongst my friends and brethren. after having been in England about twelve months. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I found with the Doctor four Musquito Indians. and. knowing that the harvest was fully ripe in those parts. I had Fox's Martyrology with cuts. I accepted of the offer.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and said that he would trust me with his estate in preference to any one. I taught him in the compass of eleven days all the letters. for. Jesus Christ. We provided them with every necessary. during which they learned to speak pretty good English. He had a mind for a new adventure in cultivating a plantation at Jamaica and the Musquito Shore. under God. therefore. to be baptized. and sailed for Jamaica. I was very sorry for this mock Christianity. who were chiefs in their own country. and his wonders in the deep. of bringing some poor sinner to my well beloved master. and whilst he was here he was baptized by the name of George. owing to which the vessel sunk that instant with two of the crew. I was very much mortified in finding that they had not frequented any churches since they were here. and he saved them out of their distresses. I took all the pains that I could to instruct the Indian prince in the doctrines of Christianity. and were in a brig loaded with corn. and brought them all safe to London: and I hope the Lord gave them repentance unto life eternal. and were brought here by some English traders for some selfish ends. and he used to be very fond of looking into it. the celebrated Doctor Irving. They were going back at the government's expense.
fond of being alone. Then I told him if he and these people went to hell together. and rigging. At last he asked me. especially in religion. the reason was. so that he would not learn his book any more! He would not drink nor carouse with these ungodly actors. On the fifth of January we made Antigua and Montserrat. I saw two men then. and entreated him very much to tell me his reasons for acting thus. All rights are reserved. and that if any one of them died so they could not go to. When we were in the latitude of Martinico. when satan at last got the upper hand. but he would not come. their pains would not make his any lighter. they desired he might be sent to them. masts. seeing this poor heathen much advanced in piety. and took great delight in him. This answer had great weight with him: it depressed his spirits much. only excepting yourself?' I answered him. and used much supplication to God for his conversion. I asked him if their toothach made his easy: he said. one morning we had a brisk gale of wind. the main-mast went over the side. would ask many questions about the papal cruelties he saw depicted there. yet swear. and observe the sun.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. lie. and ran along the rest of the islands: and on the fourteenth we arrived at Jamaica. I made such progress with this youth. 'How comes it that all the white men on board who can read and write. Thus we went on nearly four fifths of our passage. I was sorry to hear this. and if ever he came to the prince. that if these persons went to hell he would go to hell too. carrying too much sail. as he called it. he would get up on purpose to go to prayer with me. This grieved me very much. laughed. that when I used to go to bed at different hours of the night. and the yards. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. began to ask him whether I had converted him to Christianity. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. nor would he be with me. told him never to fear the devil. I was in full hope of seeing daily every appearance of that change which I could wish. and pull down as fast as I built up. for there was none existing. even at prayers. during the passage. No. not knowing the devices of satan. Some of the true sons of Belial. who had many of his emissaries to sow his tares as fast as I sowed the good seed. Or GustavusVassa. although some were within a hair's breadth of being killed: and. for which I rebuked them as much as I could. I was well pleased at this. and near making the land. He replied. I endeavoured to persuade him as well as I could. and. but this treatment caused the prince to halt between two opinions. 137 hh-bb. who did not believe that there was any hereafter. Many people were then all about the deck. he would first come to me to pray. and. and he became ever after. that they did not fear God. if he was in his bed. which I explained to him. particularly. or be happy with God. without any other clothes than his shirt. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Some of his messengers. most miraculously preserved from being smashed to pieces. and know all things. as he sometimes had the toothach. yet there was not one of us in the least hurt. and get drunk. and before he would eat any of his meals amongst the gentlemen in the cabin.com . and made their jest at him. by the providential hand of God. came tumbling all about us. and also some other persons in the ship at the same time. Thus they teazed the poor innocent youth.
and plant different kinds of vegetables. and. We used to make fires every night all around us. and cultivate a plantation. and I chose them all my own countrymen. we began to clear away the woods. On the twelfth of February we sailed from Jamaica. we went on with the culture of the land. in order to choose a place to make a plantation of. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and went ashore. almost from the church door for the space of half a mile down to the waterside. and we used them well. the bite of which the Doctor used to cure by giving to the patient. and some provisions. for I believe they never had such an useful man amongst them. The Indians were exceedingly fond of the Doctor. having got our necessaries out of the sloop. or flat-headed Indians. We then sailed to the southward of the shore. and we never saw one of them afterwards. to keep off wild beasts. little silk grass. They came from all quarters to our dwelling. to purchase some slaves to carry with us. about half a tumbler of strong rum. and some ‘woolwow’. One Sunday while we were there I took the Musquito Prince George to church. While she was there. and told them we were come to dwell amongst them. as soon as it was dark. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. in order to build us houses. and a great embarrassment to us. where he saw the sacrament administered. as soon as possible. in a rich soil. went with them ashore. which. who was much astonished. who lived fifty or sixty miles above our river. which had a quick growth. and abounded much in fish and land tortoise. Our habitation being far up in the woods. All rights are reserved. set up a most hideous roaring. brought us a good deal of silver in exchange for our goods. which received the emptying of two or three very fine large rivers. but they would not work at any thing for us. However. 138 hh-bb. and on the eighteenth arrived at the Musquito shore. a Spanish guarda costa met with and took her. Some of the native Indians came on board of us here. took an affectionate leave of us. with some others. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and a few times they assisted to cut some trees down. We fixed on a spot near a river's bank. I went with the Doctor on board a Guinea-man. All our Indian guests now. While we were employed in this manner. to a place called Cape Gracias a Dios. except poisonous snakes. and shells. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.com . Our vessel being ready to sail for the Musquito shore. The principal articles we could get from our neighbouring Indians. at a place called Dupeupy. buying and selling all kinds of commodities: and these acts afforded me great matter of exhortation to this youth. and this side of the South Sea. and they took us to different places to view the land. where there was a large lagoon or lake. but none of them ever hurt us. where they were met by the Musquito king. When we came out we saw all kinds of people. our vessel went northward to Black River to trade. with a good deal of Cayenne pepper in it. and they had good reason for it. were turtle oil. In this manner he cured two natives and one of his own slaves. This proved very hurtful. Or GustavusVassa. except fishing. which they seemed pleased at. So the Doctor and I.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. we frequently saw different kinds of animals. after I had admonished them and a few cases of liquor given them by the Doctor.
sugar. and children. which was. The women generally cultivate the ground. which we did not refuse sending. without a door or a lock to any one article. and has a number of men with him as attendants and assistants. women. and they particularly boast of having never been conquered by the Spaniards. When he came with his tribe. and is treated with very great respect. and the Doctor. I never saw the least sign of incontinence amongst them. He settles all the differences among the people. and then they generally carried whatever they brought to us. above any other nation I was ever amongst. both their faces and shirts: their favourite colour is red. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 139 hh-bb. The women are ornamented with beads. and all our neighbouring chieftains. in point of honesty.com . for rum. Upon the whole. but in this they were not worse than their European brethren or neighbours: for I am sorry to say that there was not one white person in our dwelling.' I never saw any mode of worship among them. one word expressive of an oath. by the joint labour of men. or were disturbed. was one that they had got from the English. and at the same time we made the utmost preparation to receive his honour and his train. but instead of that. where we had all kinds of goods.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. if we were to lie in that manner in Europe we should have our throats cut the first night. I never met any nation that were so simple in their manners as these people. used to say. They are great drinkers of strong liquors when they can get them. and then we could not get them away from our place. which they did exactly like the Africans. solid and sagacious. The worst word I ever heard amongst them when they were quarreling. Or GustavusVassa. which were very plentiful here. All rights are reserved. the men also paint. I do not recollect any of them to have had more than two wives. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. that in some length of time we really did not know one day from another. Neither had they. we expected to find him a grave reverend judge. This mode of living laid the foundation of my decamping at last. and never lost any thing. the men and their wives ate it separate. He took care to give us timely notice before he came to our habitation. The country being hot. we lived under an open shed. The Indian governor goes once in a certain time all about the province or district. 'you rascal. These always accompanied their husbands when they came to our dwelling. as I ever could learn. working was too much Sunday's employment with ourselves. and fond of painting themselves. even to excess. The natives are well made and warlike. to my sorrow. by sending his stick as a token. or had so little ornament in their houses. nor any where else that I saw in different places I was at on the shore. This surprised us a good deal. yet we slept in safety. so much so. and always squatted down behind their husbands. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. We used to distil rum from pine apples. myself. and others. like the judge here. but they either worked or slept on Sundays: and. and the men are all fishermen and canoe makers. and gunpowder. that was better or more pious than those unenlightened Indians. Yet they seemed to be singular. before he and his gang Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Whenever we gave them any thing to eat.
I pointed up to the heavens. which. told us how the drink was made. where. read. having intoxicated themselves with our liquor. and becomes so strong as to intoxicate. and made the best of his way to the nearest wood. and there we saw the whole art of making the drink. that I could have wished to have seen him tied fast to a tree and flogged for his behaviour. we heard them very clamorous. and I and two others went before the time to the village. When they arrived we did not know what to make of our new guests. The English of this expression is. The drink consisted of pine apples roasted. which they squeezed. when drank in any quantity. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. on some occasion. I cannot say the sight of either the drink or the meat were enticing to me. The Musquito people within our vicinity. All rights are reserved. and I gave them some rum and a few other things. he frightened them. grew very unruly. where the mirth was appointed to be held. getting quite drunk. a feast of drinking about. who was called Captain Plasmyah. When I had formed my determination. The clamour immediately ceased. that they were all brothers. by telling them of certain events in the heavens. within five miles of us. and the Doctor interfered to make peace. and go away quietly. when the governor. made entertainments of the grand kind. and also took his gold-laced hat from him. A white family. We had timely notice given to us of the entertainment. fearing he might get into trouble. and the Governor afterwards gave our neighbour. called in their tongue ‘tourrie’ or ‘dryckbot’. When the Doctor returned.com . and if they did not leave off. At this a great commotion taken place. I was so enraged with the Governor. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. we feasted them plentifully all the day till the evening. myself and his people. out of respect to the Doctor. and ‘tell’ God to make them dead. having no alternative. 140 hh-bb. I menaced him and the rest: I told them God lived there. when he was amongst the Indians in Mexico or Peru. and also the kind of animals that were to be eaten there. and would gladly have dispensed with the honour of their company. who was our nearest neighbour. as we could all understand one another. However. but I had not people enough to cope with his party. I had recourse to the same expedient. and casades chewed or beaten in mortars. of which it seems a corruption of language. and at last they became so outrageous that the Doctor. and it succeeded beyond my most sanguine expectations. Or GustavusVassa. I would take the book (pointing to the Bible). and. Recollecting a passage I had read in the life of Columbus. left the house. and that he was angry with them. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. leaving me to do as well as I could among them. after which they went away peaceably. and they even had plundered some of our good neighbouring Indians. and they must not quarrel so. I therefore thought of a stratagem to appease the riot. he was exceedingly glad at my success in thus getting rid of our troublesome guests. taking hold of the Governor. dirt and all. into a canoe they had there for the purpose. his hat again. but to no purpose. I went in the midst of them. This was something like magic. and struck one of our most friendly chiefs. They had some thousands of pine apples roasting. came in sight. ferments. The casade drink was in beef barrels and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. after lying some time.
and a variety of motions and postures of their bodies. and the females also by themselves. One Owden. They had many curious gestures in dancing. and they were dancing with music: and the musical instruments were nearly the same as those of any other sable people. Our people skipped amongst them out of complaisance. who received us very kindly. on which they set the meat. The word of God saith. and. though I did not know how to speak to the Doctor for my discharge. and filling it with wood.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. in the form of a grenadier's cap. so that the rivers were overflowed. but I could not eat any of it. though some could not drink of their tourrie. the oldest father in the vicinity. When the day of the feast was come. and went home. and it hurt my mind very much. and squeezing them with their hands. he joined the males. which continued till August very heavily. This merrymaking at last ended without the least discord in any person in the company. At night there were great illuminations. much less melodious than any other nation I ever knew. and three large alligators alive. Their manner of roasting is by digging a hole in the earth. I was much surprised at this. and then they lay sticks across. and he made a certain noise which resembled the cry of an alligator. I thought this was in some measure a judgment upon us for working on Sundays. not a little disgusted at the preparations. and our provisions then in the ground were washed away. for our mode of procedure and living in this heathenish form was very irksome to me. with prickles like a porcupine. it was Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The males danced by themselves. and went to the appointed place. by immediately joining the women's party. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Or GustavusVassa. though not by their choice. All rights are reserved. I asked the people what they were going to do with these alligators.com . as I thought. which they burn to coal. by setting fire to many pine trees. other vessels. and tied fast to the trees. were thus employed in roasting the pine apples. but our rum met with customers enough. I often wished to leave this place and sail for Europe. some dried turtle. and I was told they were to be eaten. The alligators were killed and some of them roasted. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I had a raw piece of the alligator in my hand: it was very rich: I thought it looked like fresh salmon. where we found a great assemblage of these people. Men. and he had on his head a very large and high head-piece. which to me were in no wise attracting. while the dryckbot went round merrily by calabashes or gourds: but the liquor might more justly be called eating than drinking. was dressed in a strange and terrifying form. although it was made up of different nations and complexions. and looked exactly like hog-wash. and it had a most fragrant smell. as with us. and lose his own soul?' This was much and heavily impressed on my mind. we took some rum with us. The Doctor shewed his people the example. The mirth had begun before we came. Around his body were skins adorned with different kinds of feathers. The rainy season came on here about the latter end of May. 141 hh-bb. and children. women. but. 'What does it avail a man if he gain the whole world. On perceiving the women disgusted. For food they had many land torpins or tortoises. and was soon gone.
that at last he consented to my going. has served me several years with strict honesty. and said he would give me wages. the captain of which told me he was going to Jamaica. and render their condition easy. therefore. and asked how I came to be freed. All my poor countrymen. when they heard of my leaving them. and that he is perfectly trust-worthy. and the doctor for another in letting me go from him. Gustavus Vassa.' ‘Musquito Shore. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. But about the middle of June I took courage enough to ask him for it. Hughes. The vessel then sailed along the river till night. and indeed in every respect I consider him as an excellent servant. with justice recommend him for these qualifications. Irving. and much less could I have expected any thing of this kind amongst Christians. I do hereby certify that he always behaved well. 'Christians! Damn you. 'CHARLES IRVING. who was also on board. disagreeable for me to stay any longer. I got every thing ready for my departure. There I found a sloop. but he swore that I should not. and abused me very much. with a volley of oaths and imprecations. and cursed the master for a fool that sold me my freedom. the doctor and I parted. but I gave him so many reasons for it. accompanied by the doctor. as I had always treated them with care and affection. but by G----. During the night a schooner belonging to the same owners came in. I left that spot of the world. the owner of the sloop. I told him. on the 18th of June. and said that I came into that vicinity with Dr. not without shedding tears on both sides. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Paul's men. except you have St. he still swore exceedingly at me. and. and. All rights are reserved. and swore. named Hughes. as she was in want of hands. and went southward above twenty miles along the river. asked me to go in the schooner as a sailor. you are one of St. He then immediately changed his tone. and hired some Indians. sobriety. yet had never seen any such usage with them. Or GustavusVassa. and gave me the following certificate of my behaviour: 'The bearer. June 15. I was happy when he consented. I said this was very hard. 142 hh-bb. and begged to be put on shore again. 1776.com .’ Though I was much attached to the doctor.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. or else I should not go out of the sloop as a freeman. the slaves. when she stopped in a lagoon within the same river. and did every thing I could to comfort the poor creatures. were very sorry. he replied. whom he had seen that day. I can. This account was of no use. with a large canoe. Having taken leave of my old friends and companions. Having agreed for my passage with him and one of the owners. He was very unwilling at first to grant my request. to carry me off. but I said I wanted to go to Jamaica. I said I had been twice amongst the Turks. and fidelity. This incensed him exceedingly. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Then he desired me to go in the schooner. I thanked him.
143 hh-bb. that I was the doctor's steward. but when he got up out of his sleep in the morning was of the very same temper and disposition as when he left me at night. Thus I hung. without hesitation. being fortunately in the way of their hoisting the sails. I trust I prayed to God to forgive this blasphemer. in a great rage. and loaded it before me and the crew.' which I now found was going amongst the Spaniards towards Carthagena. and would resent this usage when he should come to know it. My tyrant. All rights are reserved. This sound gladdened my heart. Peter's faith. who regarded me very highly. that he would shoot me that instant. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and the vessel was getting under way. and the good opinion he ever had of me. I had now no alternative. whilst my tyrant was down in the cabin. He also knew the doctor. the vessel was sailing on fast with a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. On which he desired a young man to put me ashore in a small canoe I brought with me. they released me. that my feet might rest on something. and could not by the law get any redress from a white person in those parts of the world. and told him not to carry me away in that manner. and swore heavily and dreadfully. and both of them soon got into a very great heat. and another rope round my body. and without judge or jury. without any crime committed. where he swore he would sell me. When they got up the anchor. and hoisted me up without letting my feet touch or rest upon any thing. and now. This man then went to the captain. seeing not one white man on board who said a word on my behalf. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. This they did at the risk of being cruelly used by their master. I put back to the vessel again. I spoke to one Mr.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I therefore remained silent. running upon the deck with a loaded musket in his hand. I was in great pain from my situation. Whilst I remained in this condition. As I knew the wretch would have done as he said. brought a musquet out of the cabin. he made some of his people tie ropes round each of my ancles. on the impropriety of this conduct. till between five and six o'clock next morning. without another word. but all in vain. and walk upon the water to the shore. Paul's or St. Cox. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. but he soon spied me out. I hung in that manner from between ten and eleven o'clock at night till about one in the morning. and. finding my cruel abuser fast asleep. and cried and begged very hard for some mercy. and swore that he would shoot me if I cried any more. when I was not above thirty or forty yards from the vessel. when. who beat some of them severely at first for not tying me when he commanded them.com . as the good Lord would have it. and I got hastily into the canoe and set off. which the captain returned. When I was let down. but. The young man that was with me now got out of the canoe. I begged some of his slaves to slack the rope that was round my body. a carpenter. just as I was alongside he was abusing the captain for letting me go from the vessel. I once more cried and begged to be released. if I did not come back on board. I simply asked him what right he had to sell me? but. whom I knew on board. you shall not go out of the vessel. Or GustavusVassa. merely because I was a free man. he presented it at me. who cared not what he did. and also to each wrist.
a little before dark I got to my destined place. He was glad to see me. When we got out of the lagoon and went along shore. to look for another vessel. so that they could not overtake me without tacking: but even before that could be done I should have been on shore. and even that was forced. smooth sea: and I then thought it was neck or nothing. for a voyage of about eighteen miles south. This fretted me much. and having agreed with me to work my passage. he gave me some refreshment.com . and they conducted me to his dwelling. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. by means of the rope I had hung by the night before. We were obliged to go ashore and drag across different necks of land. He then directed me to an Indian chief of a district. I thought patience was the only remedy I had left. for the paddling was very laborious. however. but to my sorrow and disappointment. but. He was very much astonished. They acted towards me more like Christians than those whites I was amongst the last night. He agreed with me. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and they proved troublesome to us. and appeared very sorry for it. Or GustavusVassa. before she sailed. as I did not know how to help myself among these deceivers. After treating me with kindness. with many thanks to God for this unexpected deliverance. However. that I got out of the reach of the musquet shot unnoticed. where some of the Indians knew me. and fortunately the confusion was so great amongst them on board. in the canoe.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. who lived near that shore (with whom I had agreed for my passage) of the usage I had met with. and three heads of roasted Indian corn. we went to the southward along the Musquito shore. I was therefore at different times unable to manage the canoe. we were also two nights in the swamps. I asked for the admiral. 144 hh-bb. so at that instant I set off again. about fifty miles. though I was much jaded. and he told me he was expecting daily to sail for Jamaica. while the vessel sailed on with a fair wind a different way. and requested him to send the canoe back which I then had. after which I set off with the canoe across a large lagoon alone (for I could not get any one to assist me). towards the shore. on the third day. I was not many days on board before we sailed. and refreshed me with such things as the place afforded. though used to such tricks. and had once been at our dwelling. and received me kindly. who was also the Musquito admiral. for which I was to pay him. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and had pains in my bowels. and load the vessel with it. and I got on board of a sloop commanded by one Captain Jenning. All rights are reserved. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. for my life. This tiresome journey of land and water ended. the sea was so high that the canoe was oftentimes very near being filled with water. and sent five able Indians with a large canoe to carry my things to my intended place. though they had been baptized. and I had a hammock to sleep in. I then went and told the other owner. She was then partly loaded. and we set off the next morning. I went to work accordingly. I was compelled to assist in cutting a great deal of mahogany wood on the shore as we coasted along it. which I soon reached. I told the admiral I wanted to go to the next port to get a vessel to carry me to Jamaica. to my great joy. instead of steering for Jamaica. which swarmed with musquito flies.
to my great mortification. and promised to give me forty-five shillings sterling a month if I would go with him. He wanted some hands very much. All rights are reserved. we came to another place. 145 hh-bb. and made two negroes row him to a desolate key. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. July the 10th. I therefore told the other captain that I wanted to go to Jamaica in the other vessel. or small island. There was much hard work and little victuals on board. according to an agreement I had made with the captain of the Indian Queen. whom he beat often as severely as he did some negroes he had on board. and he remained so till he was drowned a little time after. after he had beaten this man most cruelly.com . and when the poor man was brought on board he was very ill. and it came alongside.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and. A few days after I was there. instead of going to Jamaica. intending to carry me away against my will. he told me if he could get one or two. he was a very cruel and bloody-minded man. There was not the least doubt but that he would do as he said. and swore bitterly that he would shoot the negroes if they brought Stoker on board again. He also was an Englishman. trading along the coast. seeing me resolved to go in a day or two. and the skin thicker than I ever saw that of any other fish. and the two poor fellows were obliged to obey the cruel mandate. which made the fish scarce. Or GustavusVassa. One night in particular. I got my things into the boat. one Stoker. On this coast there was also a particular kind of fish called manatee. except by good luck we happened to catch turtles. and. before he would consent to let Stoker come on board. but. what was worst of all. I brought a boat load of them on board. and had been a long time along the shore trading for turtle shells and silver. As we sailed southward we came to many uninhabited islands. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. in our coasting. which were overgrown with fine large cocoa nuts. he got the vessel to sail. and he loaded two pistols. but he would not listen to me: and. when the captain was asleep. which was lying near us. nearly as far as Carthagena. Within the brackish waters along shore there were likewise vast numbers of alligators. we got all things ready and sailed: but again. called for her boat. the scales are as large as a shilling. commanded by one John Baker. and was a horrid blasphemer. I was on board this sloop sixteen days. from his situation during the night. and had got a good quantity of each on board. As I was very much in want of provisions. and wanted to go to Jamaica. which is most excellent eating. where there was a smaller sloop called the Indian Queen. during which. A great deal of entreaty was used with the captain the next day. he put him into the boat. the two negroes took a blanket and carried it to the unfortunate Stoker. and the flesh is more like beef than fish. This treatment mortified me extremely. that he would sail immediately for that island: he also pretended to me some marks of attention and respect. and went on board of the Indian Queen. which Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. as the captain had promised me: and. Among others he had a white pilot. I thought this much better than cutting wood for nothing. I immediately. which I believe was the means of saving his life from the annoyance of insects. this vessel still went to the south. by the means of a northpole shipmate which I met with in the sloop I was in. understanding I was a free man.
did not attempt to take it from me. the captain. One day especially. and then he would vent his fury on me by beating me. who was very avaricious. when what should I see but a fine large fish about seven or eight pounds. and made signals for boats to come off. I therefore earnestly prayed to God for relief in my need. and prayed to God. with thanks. Sometimes the people did not come off for some days: this used to fret the captain. unnoticed by him. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and admired. 26. and swore that he would blow up the vessel. wicked. and stay upon his God. and mad career. and placed myself between him and the powder. and the following two portions of his holy word. The head was out of the barrel. but in vain. after striking me several times with different things. having resolved in myself as soon as he attempted to put the fire in the barrel to chop him down that instant. One day. I could not help observing the providential hand of God. even with a red burning stick out of the fire. the good hand of God. during which he struck me often. I had been a whole day without food. I was more than an hour in this situation. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. which he supposed was a Spaniard. 10. and. and afforded us many a delicious repast in our scarcity. Seeing this I got an axe. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. still keeping the fire in his hand for this wicked purpose. I went directly on the deck again. which occurred to my mind. what I considered as not less extraordinary. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 146 hh-bb. And: 'Who is there amongst you that feareth the Lord. who gave me a mind which rested solely on himself. I prayed for resignation. he got a barrel of gunpowder on the deck.' Isaiah 1. and kept me from taking the life of this wicked man. and once across my mouth. in his wild. and. and at the close of the evening I went off the deck. for the rest were all gone ashore trading. that walketh in darkness and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord. Just as I laid down I heard a noise on the deck. and set bounds to our habitations. All rights are reserved.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. which had jumped aboard! I took it. because there was a vessel then in sight coming in. and he was afraid of falling into their hands. that his will might be done. buoyed up my hope. lasted me and others for several weeks. before this. 'He hath determined the times before appointed. there being only him and I on board. Or GustavusVassa.' Acts xvii.com . not knowing what it meant. I really should have thought myself justifiable in any other part of the world if I had killed him. and earnestly prayed to God to direct me. that ever supplies all our wants. that obeyeth the voice of his servant. or making me feel in other cruel ways. I was then at my wit's end. though in the ways and manner we know not. and the captain took a lighted stick out of the fire to blow himself and me up.
but not knowing where to go. and the consequence was. and. as he was a passenger himself.com . named Joe Diamond. though indeed I found it to be too much the practice there to pay free men for their labour in this manner. And thus by the grace of God I was enabled to do. who was indebted to him some trifling sum. to my no small surprise. by the help of a good pair of heels. I learned that Doctor Irving was on board of her on his way from the Musquito shore to Jamaica. although it was the hardest-earned money I ever worked for in my life. through inhumanity and ill-judged avarice. Cochran. and begged that he would take me out of the sloop: but he informed me that it was not in his power. that every one got into a large Puriogua canoe.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I thought this exceedingly hard usage. or how to manage the canoe. They soon came to an anchor where we were. to one Mr. but they all refused to do any thing for me. Irving. "That he who cannot stem his anger's tide Doth a wild horse without a bridle ride. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Or GustavusVassa. and endeavoured to escape. they were all drowned. He did all he could to help me to get my money. Nor was this all. beat and cut the poor slaves most unmercifully. 147 hh-bb. On the 14th of October the Indian Queen arrived at Kingston in Jamaica. and acquainted him of the captain's knavery. and the captain's fury began to subside as the night approached: but I found. and the man. I now learned that after I had left the estate which I managed for this gentleman on the Musquito shore. Such oppressions as these made me seek for a vessel to get off the island as fast as I could. and we went to every magistrate in Kingston (and there were nine). When we were unloaded I demanded my wages. I found him a present help in the time of need. I then informed the doctor. how I was treated. but he sent me some rum and sugar for my own use. during which the slaves were well fed and comfortable. under the protection of Captain Douglas of the Squirrel man of war. but that I got. and by the mercy of God I found a ship in November bound for Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. for Baker threatened that he would beat me severely if he could catch me for attempting to demand my money. but. by letter. but Captain Baker refused to give me one farthing. a white overseer had supplied my place: this man. I was for going immediately to see this old master and friend. in consequence of which the doctor's plantation was left uncultivated. not being able to get his money. and this he would have done. I found out Doctor Irving upon this. and said my oath could not be admitted against a white man." The next morning we discovered that the vessel which had caused such a fury in the captain was an English sloop. the taylor got off. but the captain would not suffer me to leave the vessel. which amounted to eight pounds and five shillings sterling. and he was now returning to Jamaica to purchase more slaves and stock it again. The other immediately took a horsewhip to pay him with it. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. began to murmur. by means of Dr. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. One day I went with a free negroe taylor. All rights are reserved.
com . owing to his having eaten some poisoned fish. with much sorrow. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. that this my amiable friend was dead. 148 hh-bb. was captured and set fire to by his Majesty's ship the Squirrel. we arrived at Plymouth. whom I was happy to see.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. when I embarked with a convoy. after passing some little time at Plymouth and Exeter among some pious friends. On January the seventh. We had many very heavy gales of wind in our passage. Or GustavusVassa. All rights are reserved. I went to London with a heart replete with thanks to God for all past mercies. and. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. England. after having taken a last farewell of Doctor Irving. 1777. I was happy once more to tread upon English ground. falling in with the fleet. in the course of which no material incident occurred. When I left Jamaica he was employed in refining sugars. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and some months after my arrival in England I learned. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. except that an American privateer.
if I should attempt to go amongst Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and I was determined not to return to it. get me sent out as a missionary to Africa. at least for some time. I therefore hasten to the conclusion of a narrative. than in any other equal number of years preceding. as he thought I might be of service in converting my countrymen to the Gospel faith. the Governor. ‘Different transactions of the author's life till the present time--His application to the late Bishop of London to be appointed a missionary to Africa--Some account of his share in the conduct of the late expedition to Sierra Leona--Petition to the Queen--Conclusion. 149 hh-bb. XII. we had some more discourse on the same subject: the Governor spoke to me on it again. I saw a remarkable circumstance relative to African complexion. by whom she had three boys. In the time of my service. which I fear the reader may think already sufficiently tedious. which I thought so extraordinary. However. and continued for the most part in this situation until 1784. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and said that he would. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. when I attempted (if it were the will of God) to be the means of converting the Indian prince. All rights are reserved. Paul. and that whomsoever I found to preach according to that doctrine. that I beg leave just to mention it: A white negro woman. I at first refused going. Or GustavusVassa. I had suffered so many impositions in my commercial transactions in different parts of the world. CHAPTER. who had been a considerable time on the coast of Africa. had married a white man. In 1779 I served Governor Macnamara.’ Such were the various scenes which I was a witness to. A few days after this. those I would hear.com . and the fortune I experienced until the year 1777. and I said I supposed they would serve me worse than Alexander the coppersmith did St. Soon after my arrival in London. Since that period my life has been more uniform. I told him I was a protestant of the church of England. if I chose.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. agreeable to the thirty-nine articles of that church. and they were every one mulattoes. that I became heartily disgusted with the sea-faring life. I therefore once more engaged in service shortly after my return. but this only excited their mockery. and the incidents of it fewer. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. understanding that I was of a religious turn. wished to know of what religion I was. that I had formerly seen in London and other parts. and told him how I had been served on a like occasion by some white people the last voyage I went to Jamaica. I used to ask frequently other servants to join me in family prayers. and yet they had fine light hair.
them in Africa. under God. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. from the success that has attended the like undertakings when encouraged by the Portuguese through their different settlements on the coast of Africa. taylor. we immediately wrote the following letters to the late Bishop of London: To the Right Reverend Father in God. ROBERT. unacquainted with the language and customs of the country. That your memorialist is a native of Africa. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. so. for he would apply to the Bishop of London to get me ordained. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Or GustavusVassa. and also by the Dutch: both governments encouraging the blacks. Your memorialist's only motive for soliciting the office of a missionary is. that he may be a means. and are found more proper than European clergymen. who. 150 hh-bb. by their education are qualified to undertake the same. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. if encouraged by your Lordship. He told me not to fear. and embraced the Christian faith in the year 1759.com . in hope of doing good if possible amongst my countrymen. On these terms I consented to the Governor's proposal to go to Africa.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Therefore your memorialist humbly prays your Lordship's encouragement and support in the undertaking. That your memorialist has resided in different parts of Europe for twenty-two years last past. in order to have me sent out properly. 17. of reforming his countrymen and persuading them to embrace the Christian religion. Hedge-lane. in hopes of being able to prevail upon his countrymen to become Christians. All rights are reserved. Guthrie's. and has a knowledge of the manners and customs of the inhabitants of that country. and your memorialist is the more induced to undertake the same. At Mr. ‘Lord Bishop of London’: The MEMORIAL of Gustavus Vassa Sheweth. That your memorialist is desirous of returning to Africa as a missionary. No. GUSTAVUS VASSA.
and whose sentiments on the subject of an African mission were the same with Governor Macnamara's. 151 hh-bb. My Lord. and believe him a moral good man. ‘March 13. when encouraged by other governments. 1779’. if countenanced by your Lordship. My Lord. I know the within named Gustavus Vassa. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I am inclined to think that the within plan will be attended with great success. who had resided in Africa for many years. I beg leave further to represent to your Lordship.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I do approve of the within plan. I have the honour to be. in which case it must be attended with the intended success. My Lord. MACNAMARA. All rights are reserved. Or GustavusVassa. Grove. I have resided near five years on Senegambia on the coast of Africa. Your Lordship's Humble and obedient servant. From the knowledge I have of the country and its inhabitants. I have resided near seven years on the coast of Africa.com . MATT. Your Lordship's Humble and obedient servant. 11th March 1779. and have had the honour of filling very considerable employments in that province. for most part of the time as commanding officer. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. have met with uncommon success. and think the undertaking very laudable and proper. that the like attempts. My Lord. and at this very time I know a very respectable character a black priest at Cape Coast Castle. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I am. and that it deserves your Lordship's protection and encouragement. This letter was also accompanied by the following from Doctor Wallace.
yet none on board observed either ship until we struck each other forcibly head and head. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and in May arrived at Philadelphia. the captain being an agreeable man. I sailed with him from hence in the spring. I was very glad to see this favourite old town once more. and served a nobleman in the Devonshire militia. and the sea was smooth. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. In the spring 1784 I thought of visiting old ocean again. which we did very quickly. While I was in that part of the country I was led to go down into a coal-pit in Shropshire. and about nine o'clock that night the moon shone bright. from motives of curiosity. meeting us right in the teeth. at the rate of about four or five miles an hour. but my curiosity nearly cost me my life. while our ship was going free by the wind. but we had enough to do to mind ourselves. with a pleasant gale. entertain of the probability of converting the inhabitants of it to the faith of Jesus Christ. with whom I was encamped at Coxheath for some time. She did us much damage. Or GustavusVassa. from some certain scruples of delicacy. and hoist out our boat. 152 hh-bb. Our ship having got laden we returned to London in January 1785. and in about eight minutes we saw no more of her.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. who was not far from me: upon this I got out as fast as I could. they called to us to bring to. and buried one poor man. declined to ordain me. for Philadelphia. if the attempt were countenanced by the legislature. it is large and well-built. married the man under the gallows. thinking the surface of the earth the safest part of it. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. to the astonishment and consternation of both crews. commanded by Martin Hopkin. He received me with much condescension and politeness. On the fifth of April we took our departure from the Land's-end. is the opinion which gentlemen of sense and education. a woman presented herself. having nothing on but her shift. In consequence of this I embarked as steward on board a fine new ship called the London. In the year 1783 I visited eight counties in Wales. When she was ready again for another voyage. While we lay here a circumstance happened which I thought extremely singular:--One day a malefactor was to be executed on a gallows. who are acquainted with Africa. My sole motive for thus dwelling on this transaction. and sailed for New-York. but with a condition that if any woman. All rights are reserved. THOMAS WALLACE. or inserting these papers. With these letters. and the marriage ceremony was performed. for when we passed by each other. Shortly after this I left the Governor. but I believe we did her more.com . I waited on the Bishop by the Governor's desire. but. for while I was in the pit the coals fell in. At this time another ship was going nearly as fast as we on the opposite point. and my Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and abounds with provisions of all kinds. I admired this city very much. March 1785. but the operations there were too minute and uninteresting to make a detail of. and proceeded on our voyage. We refitted as well as we could the next day. and presented them to his Lordship. his life was to be saved. This extraordinary privilege was claimed.
and thus they are made useful members of the community. desire to approach you with this address of thanks. The following is the true form of it: Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. in some measure. to lighten in any degree the heavy burthen of the afflicted. towards breaking the yoke of slavery. needy. All rights are reserved. These gentlemen received us very kindly. and we parted.com . but which we. in Gracechurch-Court Lombard-Street: Gentlemen. and kind interposition. and to administer a little comfort and ease to thousands and tens of thousands of very grievously afflicted. pleasure was much increased in seeing the worthy Quakers freeing and easing the burthens of many of my oppressed African brethren. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and too heavy burthened negroes. and regards the prayers of the oppressed. most earnestly wish and pray for. and. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. no doubt it would. by perseverance. 153 hh-bb. Gentlemen. and always rewards every true act of virtue. It rejoiced my heart when one of these friendly people took me to see a free-school they had erected for every denomination of black people. under God. of saving the souls of many of the oppressors. concerning the Calamitous State of the enslaved Negroes: We the poor. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. entitled a Caution to Great Britain and her Colonies. sure we are that the God. will give to you and yours those blessings which it is not in our power to express or conceive. under God. with a promise to exert themselves on behalf of the oppressed Africans. oppressed. and presented this address of thanks to the gentlemen called Friends or Quakers. Or GustavusVassa. if so. and afflicted people. with our inmost love and warmest acknowledgment. unwearied labour. whose minds are cultivated here and forwarded to virtue. as a part of those captived. While in town I chanced once to be invited to a Quaker’s wedding. and with the deepest sense of your benevolence. By reading your book. at last be enabled. could you. oppressed. The simple and yet expressive mode used at their solemnizations is worthy of note. be the possible means. whose eyes are ever upon all his creatures. Does not the success of this practice say loudly to the planters in the language of scripture--"Go ye and do likewise?" In October 1785 I was accompanied by some of the Africans.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and much-degraded negroes.
I shipped as a steward in an American ship called the Harmony.N. We had a nine weeks passage. However these objections were over-ruled by the gentlemen of the committee. Eleven days after sailing we carried our foremast away. and. There was then in the city a select committee of gentlemen for the black poor. 154 hh-bb. bound to Philadelphia. We returned to London in August. having received my warrant and the following order: Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Then the two first sign their names to the record. LombardStreet. promising. M. to some of whom I had the honour of being known. as I would certainly oppose their traffic in the human species by every means in my power. All rights are reserved. and in the presence of this assembly. the man audily declares to this purpose: "Friends. which caused our trip not to succeed well. and that some vessels were then engaged to carry them to Sierra Leone. as soon as they heard of my arrival they sent for me to the committee. and.com . and left London in March 1786. an act which redounded to the honour of all concerned in its promotion. Captain John Willet. On my return to London in August I was very agreeably surprised to find that the benevolence of government had adopted the plan of some philanthropic individuals to send the Africans from hence to their native quarter. in the fear of the Lord. who prevailed on me to go. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I had the honour to subscribe mine to a register in Gracechurch-Court. the market for our goods proving bad. taking each other by the hand in a solemn manner. and as many more witnesses as have a mind. and particularly I expressed some difficulties on the account of the slave dealers. When I came there they informed me of the intention of government. through divine assistance. to make it worse. to be my wife. I pointed out to them many objections to my going. they asked me to go with the black poor to Africa. and as they seemed to think me qualified to superintend part of the undertaking. and gave me sufficient power to act for the government in the capacity of commissary. and. and filled me with prayers and much rejoicing. to be unto her a loving and faithful husband till death separate us:" and the woman makes the like declaration. and our ship not going immediately to sea. After the company have met they have seasonable exhortations by several of the members. Or GustavusVassa. who in some measure prevented him. But I thank God I found many friends here.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I take this my friend. and recommended me to the honourable Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy as a proper person to act as commissary for government in the intended expedition. the bride and bridegroom stand up. and they accordingly appointed me in November 1786 to that office. my commander began to play me the like tricks as others too often practise on free negroes in the West Indies. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. whom I desire to be my witnesses.
however. W. By the principal Officers and Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy. and acquaint you that you are not to suffer any others to go who do not produce a certificate from the committee for the black poor. To Mr. and endeavoured to remedy them. not being able to muster Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. of their having their permission for it. as well as the provisions for the support of the black poor. after the landing at Sierra Leone. Or GustavusVassa. we send you herewith a list of those recommended by the Committee for the black poor as proper persons to be permitted to embark. Irving the surplus provisions remaining of what was provided for the voyage. where I continued till the March following. For which this shall be your warrant. by our warrant of the 4th of last month. Whereas you were directed. included) for 750 persons. During my continuance in the employment of government. J. Government had ordered to be provided all necessaries (slops. and as the provisions were laid in at the rate of two months for the voyage. with the cloathing. but without effect. but the number embarked being so much less than was expected. 1787. and for four months after the landing. HINSLOW. to receive into your charge from Mr. &c. cloathing. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. PALMER. All rights are reserved. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. keeping and rendering to us a faithful account of what you do herein. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. tools. These are. to direct and require you to appropriate or dispose of such surplus to the best advantage you can for the benefit of government. whereby there may be a considerable surplus of provisions. 155 hh-bb. I was struck with the flagrant abuses committed by the agent. One instance. January 16. Dated at the Navy Office. Commissary of Provisions and Stores for the Black Poor going to Sierra Leone. MARSH. I proceeded immediately to the execution of my duty on board the vessels destined for the voyage. GEO. who are not intended to have the indulgences of being carried thither. may serve as a specimen. and all other articles provided at government's expense. Gustavus Vassa.com . among many which I could produce. as they are called. And for your guidance in preventing any white persons going. in addition to former orders.
and much more. but there was evidently sufficient mismanagement attending the conduct and execution of it to defeat its success. moreover. and at last. I therefore informed the Commissioners of the Navy of the agent's proceeding. and many more cloathing and other necessaries. whom the agent. I appeal to the testimony of Capt. I could not silently suffer government to be thus cheated. government were not the only objects of peculation. to the king's stores at Portsmouth. I do not seek credit from my own assertion. and wasted by sickness. expressing their approbation of it. and whom. conscious of his peculation. nor was its failure owing to government: every thing was done on their part. Thompson. who convoyed us. By this I suffered a considerable loss in my property: however.com . was humane and politic in its design. perhaps not the most mild. should be so wasted by their confinement as not long to survive it. especially the lascars.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. by means of a gentleman in the city. these poor people suffered infinitely more. I should not have been so ample in my account of this transaction. and who had been cooped up in ships from October to June. Thus ended my part of the long-talked-of expedition to Sierra Leone. and wrote to Capt. brought on by want of medicine. bedding. and even left destitute of the necessaries for almost their existence. it appeared they had never been bought. though paid for by government. they proceeded on their voyage. The motives which might influence any person to descend to Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and it is not surprising that many. cloaths. but my dismission was soon after procured. at the government expense. and accommodated in the manner I have mentioned. &c. to whom I applied in February 1787 for a remedy. an expedition which. many of them wanted beds. had not the share I bore in it been made the subject of partial animadversion. so early as the beginning of the preceding January. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. but. their provisions therefore were exhausted before they could derive any benefit from agriculture. and even brought him to be a witness of the injustice and oppression I complained of. For the truth of this. worn out by treatment. however unfortunate in the event. more than 426. All rights are reserved. signed by twenty of their chiefs. Or GustavusVassa. they reached Sierra Leone just at the commencement of the rains. and published in the Morning Herald of the 4th of that month. At that season of the year it is impossible to cultivate the lands. their accommodations were most wretched. contrary to the orders I received. when I had remonstrated to the agent in vain. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. But that was not all. a number of persons as passengers. 156 hh-bb. whose constitutions are very tender. Thompson. the commissioners were satisfied with my conduct. and even my dismission from my employment thought worthy of being made by some a matter of public triumph[X]. &c. I was ordered to send the superfluous slops. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and my countrymen plundered and oppressed. had deceived by letter. Thus provided. when I demanded them for that purpose from the agent. I appeal also to a letter written by these wretched people. empowered the same agent to receive on board. of the Nautilus.
he created a number of enemies. but I thank Heaven it is not. he has too much reason to believe. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. because. a petty contest with an obscure African. I wish to stand by my own integrity. and to seek gratification by his depression. to his great grief and astonishment.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. received a letter of dismission from the Honourable Commissioners of the Navy. Or GustavusVassa. March 24. which tended to defeat your Lordships' humane intentions. by your Lordships' orders. That he accordingly proceeded to the execution of his duty on board of the Vernon. by opposing measures of others concerned in the same expedition. appointed to the above employment by warrant from that board. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and he is the more confirmed in his opinion. and not to shelter myself under the impropriety of another. laid the foundation of his Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. even if its detection were necessary to my vindication. on the 4th of December last. I drew up a memorial thus: To the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury: The Memorial and Petition of Gustavus Vassa a black Man. That your memorialist. and I trust the behaviour of the Commissioners of the Navy to me entitle me to make this assertion. whose misrepresentations. sensible that your Lordships would not proceed to so severe a measure without some apparent good cause. and to put the government to a very considerable additional expense. by the Honourable the Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy. perhaps it is not proper here to inquire into or relate. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. being one of the ships appointed to proceed to Africa with the above poor. he therefore has every reason to believe that his conduct has been grossly misrepresented to your Lordships. for after I had been dismissed. HUMBLY SHEWETH. That. 157 hh-bb. All rights are reserved. late Commissary to the black Poor going to Africa. conscious of having acted with the most perfect fidelity and the greatest assiduity in discharging the trust reposed in him. That your Lordships' memorialist was.com . he is altogether at a loss to conceive the reasons of your Lordships' having altered the favourable opinion you were pleased to conceive of him.
Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. sterling--that is. All rights are reserved. he is confident that in your Lordships' justice he shall find redress. trusting that the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and the advantage which he reasonably might have expected to have derived therefrom. 1788. which was received most graciously by her Majesty[Y]: To the Queen's most Excellent Majesty. an account of which he here annexes. Your memorialist will not trouble your Lordships with a vindication of any part of his conduct. Your petitioner therefore humbly prays that your Lordships will take his case into consideration. 158 hh-bb. who were kind enough. London. Unsupported by friends.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. amounting to 32l. and. he. wages for the time (upwards of four months) I acted a faithful part in their service. He has had the misfortune to have sunk a considerable part of his little property in fitting himself out. without hearing. which is most humbly submitted. Madam. 4s. The above petition was delivered into the hands of their Lordships. May 12. and unaided by the advantages of a liberal education. and in other expenses arising out of his situation.com . however. Or GustavusVassa. and also the wages intended. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. 18l. in the space of some few months afterwards. he can only hope for redress from the justice of his cause. to order me 50l. Certainly the sum is more than a free negro would have had in the western colonies!!! * * * * * March the 21st. if it be found that his dismission arose from false representations. earnestly entreats that you will be pleased to direct an inquiry into his behaviour during the time he acted in the public service. I had the honour of presenting the Queen with a petition on behalf of my African brethren. 1787. dismission. and that you will be pleased to order payment of the above referred-to account. in addition to the mortification of having been removed from his employment. because he knows not of what crimes he is accused. Your Majesty's well known benevolence and humanity emboldens me to approach your royal presence.
have at length reached the British legislature. and they are now deliberating on its redress. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. who groan under the lash of tyranny in the West Indies.com . therefore. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. The oppression and cruelty exercised to the unhappy negroes there. Gustavus Vassa. have petitioned parliament against its continuance. I presume. to implore your interposition with your royal consort. and be rewarded in the grateful prayers of themselves. a period may now be put to their misery. by your Majesty's benevolent influence. and every fulness of joy which divine revelation has promised us in the next.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. the greater claim it has to your Majesty's compassion. every blessing that this world can afford. although numerous. to the rights and situation of freemen. The Oppressed Ethiopean. to which they are at present degraded. and the greater must be your Majesty's pleasure in administering to its relief. are in a measure forgotten. Or GustavusVassa. obscurity of my situation will not prevent your Majesty from attending to the sufferings for which I plead. sensible that it is as impolitic as it is unjust--and what is inhuman must ever be unwise. And may the all-bountiful Creator shower on your Majesty. my sufferings. 159 hh-bb. and admitted to partake of the blessings of your Majesty's happy government. that. and the Royal Family. and that they may be raised from the condition of brutes. so shall your Majesty enjoy the heartfelt pleasure of procuring happiness to millions. I am your Majesty's most dutiful and devoted servant to command. gracious Queen. Yet I do not solicit your royal pity for my own distress. and of their posterity. surely the more extended the misery is. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I supplicate your Majesty's compassion for millions of my African countrymen. Your Majesty's reign has been hitherto distinguished by private acts of benevolence and bounty. in favour of the wretched Africans. All rights are reserved. even several persons of property in slaves in the West Indies.
and the new act of amendment now in agitation there. liberty. contain a proof of the existence of those charges that have been made against the planters relative to the treatment of their slaves. and brought to the ear of the legislature designs worthy of royal patronage and adoption. Or GustavusVassa. and the dignity of their stations: they are ends suitable to the nature of a free and generous government. 53.com . but sin is a reproach to any people. It is upon these grounds that I hope and expect the attention of gentlemen in power. No. suited to the benevolence and solid merit of the legislature. and the wicked shall fall by their own wickedness.--May the time come--at least the speculation to me is pleasing--when the sable people shall gratefully commemorate the auspicious aera of extensive freedom. who generously proposed and stood forth in the cause of humanity. 25. They can say with pious Job. to vindicate the honour of our common nature. connected with views of empire and dominion. a reversion. These are concerns which do not perhaps belong to any particular office: but. to the uttermost parts of the earth: then will be glory to God on the highest. Then shall those persons[Z] particularly be named with praise and honour. Baldwin's Gardens. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I hope to have the satisfaction of seeing the renovation of liberty and justice resting on the British government. and by liberal things shall stand. liberty. and good policy. and science. &c. to the Britons first. and may their expectations be filled with gladness! 'The liberal devise liberal things. May Heaven make the British senators the dispersers of light.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. on earth peace. 160 hh-bb. to speak more seriously to every man of sentiment.' Isaiah xxxii. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. actions like these are the just and sure foundation of future fame.' May the blessings of the Lord be upon the heads of all those who commiserated the cases of the oppressed negroes. 'Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?' Job xxx. 8. though remote. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and. peace. honour. and the fear of God prolong their days. is coveted by some noble minds as a substantial good. All rights are reserved. These are designs consonant to the elevation of their rank. made by the assembly of Jamaica last year. It is a pursuit of substantial greatness.' 'It is righteousness exalteth a nation. (because to them the Gospel is preached) and also to the nations. and goodwill to men:--Glory. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. * * * * * The negro consolidated act. to every soul of man that worketh good. 'Those that honour their Maker have mercy on the poor.
the bowels and surface of Africa. in point of consumption. The supposition is most obvious. the manufacturing interest is equal. It is trading upon safe grounds. and mining. I hope the slave trade will be abolished. The manufacturers of this country must and will. (except those persons concerned in the manufacturing neck-yokes. and as such the nation's at large. iron muzzles. have a full and constant employ by supplying the African markets. collars. The wear and tear of a continent. It will be equally immense in Africa--The same cause. drags. it is most substantially their interest and advantage. will considerably facilitate and expedite it. will give a most rapid extension of manufactures. &c. and every other imaginable barbarity and iniquity. The manufacturing interest and the general interests are synonymous. the demand for manufactures would most rapidly augment. and rich in vegetable and mineral productions. proportionably as they civilize. which is totally and diametrically opposite to what some interested people assert. and other instruments of torture used in the slave trade). Tortures. are practised upon the poor slaves with impunity. so diabolical. The difference between their forefathers and the present generation. civilization. murder. If I am not misinformed. customs. Or GustavusVassa.com .--It cost the Aborigines of Britain little or nothing in clothing. and coffins. abound in valuable and useful returns. thumb-screws. and. will ever have the same effect. In a short time one sentiment alone will prevail. I doubt not. cats.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. As the inhuman traffic of slavery is to be taken into the consideration of the British legislature. as to the value. uniting in the cause. as I have already stated. In proportion to the civilization. to the landed interest. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. manners. &c. The abolition of slavery. as the native inhabitants will insensibly adopt the British fashions. is literally infinite. if not superior. 161 hh-bb. nearly twice as large as Europe. is much easier conceived than calculated. scourges. from motives of Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. so will be the consumption of British manufactures. the hidden treasures of centuries will be brought to light and into circulation. chains. A case in point. it lays open an endless field of commerce to the British manufactures and merchant adventurer. enterprize. A commercial intercourse with Africa opens an inexhaustible source of wealth to the manufacturing interests of Great Britain. and to all which the slave trade is an objection. will have their full scope. Industry. Population. in the nature and reason of things. In a word. viz. All rights are reserved. The great body of manufacturers. The abolition of slavery would be in reality an universal good. leg-bolts. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I pray it may be an event at hand. hand-cuffs. for reasons which will soon appear. if a system of commerce was established in Africa. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.
and benefactors to mankind!] END Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. My life and fortune have been extremely chequered. are an honour to their country. collectively and individually. they would double themselves every fifteen years. the Reverend Thomas Clarkson.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. In proportion to such increase will be the demand for manufactures. &c. Esq. a head in raiment and furniture yearly when civilized. and my adventures various. there is scarcely any book or incident so trifling that does not afford some profit. All rights are reserved. and to learn from it a lesson of morality and religion. Or GustavusVassa. and happy prospect-the clothing. I have only therefore to request the reader's indulgence and conclude.com .] [Footnote Y: At the request of some of my most particular friends. After all. that almost every event of my life made an impression on my mind and influenced my conduct. FOOTNOTES: [Footnote X: See the Public Advertiser. Even those I have related are considerably abridged. and to walk humbly before God?' To those who are possessed of this spirit. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Cotton and indigo grow spontaneously in most parts of Africa. while to others the experience of ages seems of no use. and in this light every circumstance I have related was to me of importance. to expend 5l. I am far from the vanity of thinking there is any merit in this narrative: I hope censure will be suspended. I early accustomed myself to look for the hand of God in the minutest occurrence. our approved friends. and learn 'to do justly. If any incident in this little work should appear uninteresting and trifling to most readers. what makes any event important. It opens a most immense. the Reverend James Ramsay. interest as well as justice and humanity. 1787.] [Footnote Z: Grenville Sharp. Europe contains one hundred and twenty millions of inhabitants. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. men of virtue. of a continent ten thousand miles in circumference. 162 hh-bb. July 14. Query--How many millions doth Africa contain? Supposing the Africans. &c. If the blacks were permitted to remain in their own country. glorious. and even to pour out to them the treasures of wisdom is throwing the jewels of instruction away. an immensity beyond the reach of imagination! This I conceive to be a theory founded upon facts. ornamental to human nature. a consideration this of no small consequence to the manufacturing towns of Great Britain. happy in themselves. when it is considered that it was written by one who was as unwilling as unable to adorn the plainness of truth by the colouring of imagination. as my excuse for mentioning it. I take the liberty of inserting it here. I can only say. and therefore an infallible one. to love mercy. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and immensely rich in productions of every denomination in return for manufactures. unless by its observation we become better and wiser.